- High dietary magnesium consumption lowers the risk of coronary heart
disease by 10% by reducing blood pressure and maintaining normal heart
- Magnesium lowers blood clotting factor levels which
may cause stroke.
- By regulating glucose metabolism and
reducing insulin resistance, magnesium lowers risk of type-2 diabetes.
Regular intake of green leafy
, such as spinach,
legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains which are rich in magnesium can reduce the risk of
various diseases including coronary heart
, stroke and type-2
diabetes, according to a new meta-analysis.
Research has shown that people in the highest category of dietary
magnesium consumption had a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease, 12% lower
risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of type-2 diabetes compared to those in the
. This research from Zhejiang University and
Zhengzhou University in China also indicated that an extra 100mg per day of dietary
magnesium could reduce the risk of stroke by 7% and type 2 diabetes by 19%.
‘Consumption of magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables and nuts help maintain normal serum magnesium levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.’
is a mineral, vital for human
health and normal biological functions including glucose metabolism, protein
production and synthesis of nucleic acids such as DNA. The main sources of the mineral are foods such as spices,
nuts, beans, cocoa, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
Dr Fudi Wang, lead author from the School of
Public Health at Zhejiang University, said, "Low levels of magnesium in
the body have been associated with a range of diseases but no conclusive
evidence has been put forward on the link between dietary magnesium and health
risks. Our meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting a
link between the role of magnesium in food and reducing the risk of
Data from 40 epidemiological studies covering
a period from 1999 to 2016 were analyzed to investigate associations between dietary
magnesium and various diseases. Using a self-reported food frequency
questionnaire or a 24-hour dietary recall, the levels of dietary magnesium were
determined. The researchers performed a dose-response analysis for the effect
of each 100mg per day increase of dietary magnesium, as the levels of magnesium
used to define categories varied widely between the studies.
Approximately 25gms of magnesium is present
in the adult body with 50% to 60% present in the bones and most of the rest in
. The blood serum has less than 1% of total magnesium and these
levels are kept under tight control.
The normal serum magnesium concentrations
range between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol)/L. The kidneys maintain magnesium
homeostasis and typically excretes about 120 mg magnesium into the urine each
day. When magnesium status is low, urinary excretion is reduced.
"The current health guidelines recommend
a magnesium intake of around 300mg per day for men and 270mg per day for women
Despite this, magnesium deficiency is relatively common, affecting between 2.5%
and 15% of the general population. Our findings will be important for informing
the public and policymakers on dietary guidelines to reduce magnesium deficiency
related health risks," said Dr. Wang.
Magnesium and Heart Disease Risk
Magnesium also regulates the active transport
of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is
important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart
Risk in Communities study assessed heart disease risk
factors and levels of serum magnesium in a cohort of 14,232 white and
African-American men and women aged 45 to 64 years. After 12 years of
follow-up, a 38% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death was observed in individuals
with serum magnesium of least 0.88 mmol/L compared with individuals in the
lowest quartile of 0.75 mmol/L or less.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH
) diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, and
less fat overall was shown to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an
average of 5.5 and 3.0 mmHg, respectively. Though other nutrients such as potassium
and calcium also reduce blood pressure, the independent effect of magnesium
could not be determined.
Magnesium Cuts Stroke Risk
An additional 100 mg/day magnesium in the
diet was associated with an 8% decreased risk of total stroke
. In a meta-analysis of 7 prospective
trials with a total of 241,378 participants, the risk reduction was observed especially in
ischemic rather than hemorrhagic stroke. Von Willebrand factor levels were positively associated with the
incidence of ischemic stroke. Low levels of serum magnesium increased the
levels of Von Willebrand factor, increasing the risk of ischemic stroke.
Magnesium Reduces Diabetes Risk
Diets with adequate amounts of magnesium are associated with a lower risk of diabetes
to the important role of magnesium in glucose metabolism. Hypomagnesemia or serum magnesium
levels less than 0.75mmol/L might cause insulin resistance, the inability of
insulin to be utilized by the cells to absorb glucose for energy production. Diabetes
leads to increased urinary losses of magnesium, and the inadequacy of magnesium
might impair insulin secretion and action, thereby worsening diabetes control.
The meta-analysis involves observational
studies which take into account the effect of other biological or lifestyle
factors influencing the results. Though it is also not possible to determine if
magnesium is directly responsible for reducing disease risk, the large size of
this analysis provides robust data that were stable when adjusting for gender
and study location. The findings reinforce the notion that increased
consumption of magnesium-rich foods
could be beneficial for overall health.
- Magnesium - (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/)