High Dietary Magnesium Intake Tied to Less Stroke, Diabetes, Heart Failure

Larry Hand

December 09, 2016

HANGZHOU, CHINA — Increasing dietary intake of magnesium could help to reduce the risk of stroke, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality, according to results of a new meta-analysis[1].

Dr Fudi Wang (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China) and colleagues examined 40 prospective cohort studies involving more than one million participants from 1999 through May 31, 2015, from nine countries. The 40 articles comprised 70 studies with follow-up ranging from 4 to 30 years.

The results were published online December 7, 2016 in BMC Medicine.

The researchers identified 7678 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), 6845 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD), 701 cases of heart failure, 14,775 cases of stroke, 26,299 cases of type 2 diabetes, and 10,983 cases of death from any cause.

The studies' researchers assessed dietary magnesium intake using a validated food frequency questionnaire in all but one study.

Although they found that magnesium is not associated with risk of CVD (including CHD and stroke), they did find that the highest magnesium intake is associated with a 10% lower risk of CHD (relative risk [RR] 0.90; 95% CI 0.80–0.99).

They found a significant inverse correlation between the highest and lowest levels of magnesium and risk of stroke (RR 0.88; 95% CI 0.82–0.95). For each 100-mg/day increase in magnesium intake, risk of stroke decreased by 7%.

They found the pooled relative risk for type 2 diabetes to be 0.74 (95% CI 0.69–0.80), with every 100-mg/day magnesium increase yielding a relative risk of 0.81 (95% CI 0.77–0.86).

For all-cause mortality, although the association with dietary magnesium was not statistically significant, for each 100-mg/day increase in dietary magnesium intake yielded a 10% lower risk (RR 0.90; 95% CI 0.81–0.99).

"This meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date epidemiological evidence supporting the putative protective effect of magnesium intake against stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and all-cause mortality," the researchers write.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation supported this research. The authors reported no relevant financial relationships.

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