The earliest description of clinical magnesium deficiency was reported in 1934. In 1954, Flink reported alcoholism as the cause of magnesium deficiency. This was confirmed by low serum and tissue levels, balance studies, low exchangeable 28Mg, and parenteral Mg retention tests.
Alcohol causes urinary Mg losses, but other mechanisms associated with alcoholism also contribute to magnesium deficiency, including malnutrition, gastrointestinal losses, phosphate deficiency, acidosis and/or alkalosis, vitamin D deficiency, and free fatty acidemia associated with alcohol withdrawal.
Mg replacement therapy is recommended to prevent some of the serious sequelae of magnesium deficiency.
Magnes Trace Elem.: Magnesium deficiency in alcohol addiction and withdrawal