More magnesium may slash heart disease risk by 30%: Harvard meta-analysis

More magnesium may slash heart disease risk by 30%: Harvard meta-analysis

Increased circulating levels of magnesium may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, says a new meta-analysis from Harvard School of Public Health supporting the heart health benefits of the mineral.

Higher intakes of magnesium were also associated with benefits, with a 22% reduction in the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) reported by the Boston-based researchers.

The study, which combined data from 313,041 people, provides the “most robust evidence to date of the associations between circulating and dietary magnesium across their usual physiologic ranges and CVD risk”, wrote Dr Dariush Mozaffarian and his co-authors in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers noted that the data related to dietary magnesium and their findings support an increase in consumption of magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, nuts/seeds, and vegetables, rather than supplements.

Consumer need

With between 70 and 80% of the US population not meeting their recommended intakes of magnesium, consumers – and the health care professionals who advise them - are waking up to the importance of the mineral.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists magnesium as being necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, from helping maintain normal muscle (with potential for sports nutrition) and nerve function, to keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong. The mineral is also needed for blood sugar management, and healthy blood pressure.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued positive opinions on magnesium and the maintenance of normal bone, teeth, and protein synthesis; the reduction of tiredness and fatigue; electrolyte balance; normal energy-yielding metabolism; neurotransmission, and muscle contraction.

The agency was not convinced by claims about magnesium and blood glucose, blood pressure, stress relief, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage, the immune system and fat metabolism.

Despite negative opinions from EFSA, a number of meta-analysis and high-profile studies have been published in recent years supporting the mineral's benefits for metabolic pathwaysblood pressurereducing the risk of stroke, and reducing the risk of colon cancer

Support

The new meta-analysis supports the potential heart health benefits of the mineral. Dr Mozaffarian and his co-workers identified 16 studies with data for 313,041 people.

After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that every 0.2 mmol/L increment increase in circulating magnesium was associated with a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but no significant association with IHD.

On the other hand, increasing dietary magnesium intakes were linked to a 22% lower risk of IHD.

The researchers noted that these observational studies cannot establish causality, and called for “additional experimental studies and randomized trials […] to elucidate the roles of circulating and dietary magnesium, at usual physiologic concentrations and intakes, on CVD risk.”

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.053132
“Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies”
Authors: L.C. Del Gobbo, F. Imamura, J.H.Y. Wu, M.C. de Oliveira Otto, S.E. Chiuve, D. Mozaffarian

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Comments (3)

Charles Weber - 18 Sep 2013 | 11:29

potssium to cure heart disease

Dear NUTRA, Insufficient potassium and vitamin B-1 (thiamin) can not damage the heart significantly when both are deficient. This has important safety implications when supplementing each during heart disease, arrhythmias, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, gout, beri-beri, or diabetes caused or influenced by the deficiency of one of them. It is extremely important to know which kind of heart disease is involved. You may see this discussed in detail in http://charles_w.tripod.com/kandthiamin.html . This is probably the primary reason why the medical profession has not been able to prevent heart disease up to date and why potassium supplements cause neutral mortality statistics. Researchers almost across the board think that potassium has little impact on the body or/and is never deficient. This is a mistaken assumption. Most food processing procedures cause losses. Enormous attention is given to a single murder or handful of murders, while at the same time the food industry causing 500 thousand deaths from heart disease alone, gets almost no coverage. This is because a considerable fraction of their profits goes to promulgating these disasters by advertising and bribing politicians. Even the medical profession is responsible by procedures in hospital cafeterias. Copper is crucial for strength of arteries because of its role as part of lysil oxidase, which cross links elastin tissue. A deficiency is probably the main cause of aneurisms and therefore many strokes, hemorrhoids, and many bleeding problems, as well as high blood cholesterol and is probably involved by a synergistic affect in the cause of diabetes by chili pepper (see http://charles_w.tripod.com/diabetes.html ). You may see how to increase copper from food in http://charles_w.tripod.com/copper3.html and a discussion of copper physiology in http://charles_w.tripod.com/copper.html . Finding ways to repair the heart is useful, but there is no good substitute for not damaging it in the first place. You also may find a book about potassium nutrition as it relates to heart disease, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes, useful for your library. Its availability is through Paypal along with its introduction, table of contents and first two chapters may be accessed in http://charles_w.tripod.com/book.html . Sincerely, Charles Weber PS Dr. Rastmanesh, a nutritionist from Iran, would like to secure a position in an English speaking university. He has an impressive CV. If you know of an opening I will send you his CV. It is a travesty to leave that fine researcher over in that criminal country after he has gotten rid of rheumatoid arthritis for us.

18-Sep-2013 at 11:29 GMT

chris aylmer - 05 Jun 2013 | 06:16

Don't Forget about Magnesium in Water

In the UK there is (or was) a theory that predominantly soft drinking water in areas like Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland could be one reason why heart disease is significantly higher in these countries compared with England. Soft water contains a lot less calcium and magnesium. Although the concentration of minerals is relatively low in water, a large volume may be consumed daily from drunk tap water, home prepared tea and coffee as well as all the water used to cook food and prepare soups and stews etc. So don't forget this contributing source of magnesium in the diet.

05-Jun-2013 at 06:16 GMT
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