4364.0.55.008 - Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12  
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MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is an essential mineral required for a range of biochemical activities in the human body. These include protein production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and bone development. Magnesium is widely distributed in both animal and plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains.1 Major food sources of magnesium in Australia include cereals and cereal based products and dishes, along with non-alcoholic beverages (such as coffee and water).2

In 2011-12, one in three people aged two years and over (37% of males and 34% of females) did not meet their requirements for magnesium. Inadequate intakes of magnesium were more common in those aged nine years and over, with 61% of males aged 14 to 18 years consuming less than their requirements for magnesium, and 72% of females of the same age. In contrast, almost all children aged 2-8 years met their magnesium requirements. Males aged 19 years and over were more likely than females of the same age group to have inadequate intakes (41% compared with 35%).

Proportion of population with inadequate magnesium intakes (estimated as % below the EAR), by age


Age (years)
EAR (mg)(a)
.
.
Prevalence of inadequacy (%)(b)

Males
Females
Males
Females
2-3
65
65
-
-
4-8
110
110
-
0.3
9-13
200
200
11.8
24.6
14-18
340
300
61.3
71.6
19-30
330
255
33.5
37.2
31-50
350
265
36.4
32.8
51-70
350
265
46.5
30.6
71 and over
350
265
63.9
48.5

Source:
(a) National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, <http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/magnesium>
(b) Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intake, 2011-12

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

Graph Image for Persons aged 2 years and over - Proportion of population with inadequate magnesium intakes

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12



ENDNOTES

1 National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, <https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/magnesium>, last accessed 4/2/2015
2 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, 'Table 10: Proportion of Nutrients from food groups', data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007