Magnesium-rich diet reduces mortality risk

Magnesium supplements probably fit perfectly in the life-extensionist’s diet. We deduce this from recent epidemiological studies done in Germany and the US, which show that a relatively high magnesium intake reduces mortality – and thus extends life expectancy.

Magnesium supplements probably fit perfectly in the life-extensionist’s diet. We deduce this from recent epidemiological studies done in Germany and the US, which show that a relatively high magnesium intake reduces mortality – and thus extends life expectancy.

The German study was published in Atherosclerosis in 2011. That study showed that people with a magnesium level lower than 0.73 millimoles per litre are 1.58 times more likely to die than people whose magnesium level is higher than this. [Atherosclerosis. 2011 Nov;219(1):280-4.]

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In the group with relatively low levels of magnesium in the blood, the risk of dying from a cardiovascular problem is 1.66 times higher than in the group with higher magnesium levels.

In the German study the researchers followed a group of several thousand over 45s for an average of ten years. Although users of magnesium supplements did not take part in the study, the researchers suspect that some groups would benefit from taking magnesium on a regular basis. “Further studies should be initiated to investigate magnesium supplementation in special circumstances may be beneficial”, they write.

Magnesium alone reduces the mortality risk, but also works together with vitamin D, according to data gathered between 2001 and 2006 for the American National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Over twelve thousand Americans over the age of 20 took part in this survey. [BMC Med. 2013 Aug 27;11(1):187.]

The researchers discovered that participants were less likely to die the more magnesium there was in their blood. A high magnesium level reduced the chance of fatal cardiovascular disease and a fatal form of bowel cancer as well as other causes of death.

The protective effect of magnesium was particularly noticeable in the group that also had relatively high levels of vitamin D in their blood. Click on the figure below for a larger version.

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The researchers believe the explanation for this lies in the way in which the body converts vitamin D from food and the vitamin D made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight into its active form. This metabolic process requires magnesium.

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Magnesium is not only present in supplements of course. Foods containing magnesium include wholegrain products, nuts, dark chocolate, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, soya, dairy products and meat.

Magnesium, vitamin D status and mortality: results from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006 and NHANES III.

Deng X, Song Y, Manson JE, Signorello LB, Zhang SM, Shrubsole MJ, Ness RM, Seidner DL, Dai Q.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Magnesium plays an essential role in the synthesis and metab ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Magnesium plays an essential role in the synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation substantially reversed the resistance to vitamin D treatment in patients with magnesium-dependent vitamin-D-resistant rickets. We hypothesized that dietary magnesium alone, particularly its interaction with vitamin D intake, contributes to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, and the associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by magnesium intake level.

METHODS:

We tested these novel hypotheses utilizing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006, a population-based cross-sectional study, and the NHANES III cohort, a population-based cohort study. Serum 25(OH)D was used to define vitamin D status. Mortality outcomes in the NHANES III cohort were determined by using probabilistic linkage with the National Death Index (NDI).

RESULTS:

High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively. Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency. Additionally, the inverse association between total magnesium intake and vitamin D insufficiency primarily appeared among populations at high risk of vitamin insufficiency. Furthermore, the associations of serum 25(OH)D with mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer, were modified by magnesium intake, and the inverse associations were primarily present among those with magnesium intake above the median.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status. The associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by the intake level of magnesium. Future studies, including cohort studies and clinical trials, are necessary to confirm the findings.

PMID: 23981518 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] PMCID: PMC3765911

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23981518

  
  

 

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