An appropriate magnesium intake has proved to have beneficial effects on bone health, reduce insulin resistance and prevent atherosclerosis.
To determine the concentration of magnesium in drinking water and bottled mineral water in Spain and assess its daily contribution to dietary recommendations.
We used ion chromatography to analyse the magnesium concentrations of public drinking waters in a representative sample of 108 Spanish municipalities (supplying 21,290,707 potential individuals) and 109 natural mineral waters sold in Spain (97 Spanish and 12 imported).
The water generally contained between 15 and 45 mg/L of magnesium, but in seven municipalities it contained over 45 mg/L. The average magnesium concentration of 97 brands of Spanish natural mineral water was 16.27 mg/L (range: 0.11-141.2 mg/L). Of these, 33 contained between 15 and 45 mg/L of magnesium and four contained over 45 mg/L. Of the 12 imported brands, 4 contained over 45 mg/L. Assuming water consumption is as recommended by the European Food Safety Agency, water containing 15 to 45 mg/L of magnesium provides between 9 and 76.5% of the recommended intake of magnesium for children aged one to thirteen, up to 25.7% in adolescents, between 7.5 and 25.7% for adults, and up to 27% for lactating women. Water with 60 mg/L of magnesium provides between 30 and 102% of the recommended dietary allowance, depending on the age of the individual.
The consumption of public drinking water and natural mineral water in a third of Spanish cities can be regarded as an important supplementary source of magnesium.