Posted on Jun 20, 2012, 6 a.m.
Increasing dietary magnesium intake could reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by up to 50%.
Data from a long-term study of nearly 60,000 people suggests that increasing the amount of magnesium in the diet could cut the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by as much as 50%. Wen Zhang, from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, and colleagues from several Japanese Universities, used data from the Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study, involving 58,615 healthy Japanese people aged between 40 and 79. A total of 2,690 participants died from cardiovascular disease over the course of the 15-year-long study. Results showed that dietary magnesium intake was inversely associated with mortality from hemorrhagic stroke in men and with mortality from total and ischemic strokes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and total cardiovascular disease in women. Participants with the highest intake of magnesium were found to have a 50% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with participants with the lowest dietary intake of magnesium. However, when the researchers factored in the effects of calcium and potassium the relationship was not as strong. They concluded: "Dietary magnesium intake was associated with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese [people], especially for women."
Wen Zhang, Hiroyasu Iso, Tetsuya Ohira, Chigusa Date, Akiko Tamakoshi, JACC Study Group. Associations of dietary magnesium intake with mortality from cardiovascular disease: The JACC study. Atherosclerosis. 2012;221:587-595.