Magnesium Supplementation Improves Asthma Symptoms?

Magnesium Supplementation Improves Asthma Symptoms?

magnesium asthma

Does magnesium (oral magnesium citrate) improve quality of life and asthma control in patients with mild to moderate asthma?

Asthma is a very common condition which affects approximately 7-10% of adults and 10-15% of children.  For many patients, symptoms can often be troublesome as well as difficult to control.

A very recent study published in the Journal of Asthma (Kazaks et al, 2010) , studied the effect of six months of supplementation with oral magnesium citrate (170 mg taken twice daily with food) on pulmonary function tests, asthma control, and quality of life in patients with mild to moderate asthma.

Magnesium Deficiency?

Epidemiological studies have shown that patients with asthma often have lower levels of magnesium than healthy controls.  Further, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 1999-2000, less than half of Americans consumed the recommended doses of magnesium.

If you have asthma and are concerned about have low magnesium levels, you should talk to your doctor about checking your serum magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, and potassium levels.  Though the serum levels of magnesium are not a reliable method to determine total body magnesium stores, a case of magnesium deficiency is clearly present if serum levels are low.  More specific tests also include measuring your ionized magnesium levels.

Important! Magnesium levels are more frequently deficient in hospitalized patients, diabetics, and alcoholics. Both symptoms and causes of hypomagnesemia can be quite varied.

Magnesium for Asthma?

Back to the recent study, the authors found that 6-month supplementation with oral magnesium citrate improved objective measures of asthma (PFT) along with subjective measures of quality of life and asthma control.  No significant side effects were noted in the group that received magnesium citrate.

*** 6-month supplementation with magnesium citrate improved peak expired flow rates by 5.8%

Management of Asthma with Magnesium:

  1. Magnesium deficiency is common among those who have asthma.
  2. Research suggests that adults with mild to moderate asthma may benefit from taking magnesium supplements.
  3. Supplementation with magnesium citrate at a dose of 340 mg/d for over  6 months resulted in improvements in the ability to move air in and out of lungs, asthma control, and quality of life.


  1. Kazaks AG, Uriu-Adams JY, Albertson TE, Shenoy SF, Stern JS.  Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on measures of airway resistance and subjective assessment of asthma control and quality of life in men and women with mild to moderate asthma: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.  J Asthma. 2010 Feb;47(1):83-92.
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