Fermented dairy products such as yogurt, which has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, may be a source of magnesium. This review article shows that high dietary intake of magnesium is associated with a protection against cardiovascular risk factors including metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and hypertension, as well as against stroke and total cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
Magnesium– also found in leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole-grains – is an essential element in our diet that plays a crucial role in several biological processes, say the authors. So it comes as no surprise that changes in magnesium could have an impact on disease status.
Surveys have shown that many people in Europe and the USA fail to meet the daily allowance of magnesium, probably because of Western dietary patterns. Chronic deficiency of magnesium has been linked with several cardiometabolic conditions.
In this review, the authors highlight epidemiological data that contribute to a growing body of evidence pointing to an association between increased magnesium intake and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Magnesium intake is associated with reduced risk of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk factors
Several observational studies have shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). This is in a dose-response relationship, one study showing the risk of T2D was 8-13% lower per 100 mg/day of magnesium intakes.
Magnesium supplementation has been associated with a fall in insulin resistance, one of the underlying causes of the cluster of CVD risk factors that form the metabolic syndrome. Indeed, recent studies have suggested that higher intake of magnesium is associated with lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
In particular, evidence suggests high dietary magnesium may be linked to low blood pressure, while randomised controlled trials have suggested benefits of magnesium supplementation for improving lipid profiles in people with dyslipidaemia.
Dietary magnesium is associated with reduced cardiovascular diseases (CVD) events
As well as risk factors for CVD, dietary magnesium appears to be associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular events themselves, say the authors.
For example, population studies around the world have found a dose-dependent inverse association between magnesium intake and incidence of stroke.
Dietary magnesium intake also appears to play a protective role in the risk of death from total CVD and CV sub-types, especially in women, although the authors warn that the variability in the meta-analyses means the results should be interpreted with caution.
How does magnesium achieve these possible benefits on cardiovascular diseases risks?
The possible protective influence of magnesium intake on CVD risk may be achieved by improving glucose and insulin metabolism, and its effect on dyslipidaemia, as well as combating hypertension and inflammation, say the authors.
They conclude that the findings highlight the importance of eating enough magnesium-rich foods to help reduce CVD risk and prevent other chronic diseases. Further clinical research is needed to help clarify the relationship between magnesium intake and CVDs and CVD death.
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