Magnesium intake may help people with hearth problems

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition has investigated the relationship between dietary magnesium intake and cardiovascular disease and mortality risk in a Mediterranean population who are at high cardiovascular risk.
Magnesium is found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, soy products and whole grains and is used in the production and transport of energy and protein in the body. Previous studies have indicated that high dietary intake is protective against cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome.
The study by Guasch-Ferre et al included 7216 participants, who were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline but who were at high risk. The participants were randomly split into two groups. One group consumed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either extra virgin olive oil or nuts and the other group received a control diet. Using a food frequency questionnaire, the scientists assessed the participant’s dietary magnesium intake at baseline. The participants also reported physical activity, history of illness, and medication use, amongst others. Waist circumference, weight and height were measured and blood pressure was taken.
The participants in the highest tertile of dietary magnesium intake were mainly women, had lower body weight, were more physically active and were less likely to smoke or drink alcohol. The mean intake of magnesium in the lowest and the highest energy-adjusted tertile respectively was 318 and 454 mg/d. After 4.8 years, there were 323 total deaths, 81 cardiovascular deaths, 130 cancer deaths and 277 cardiovascular events. Energy-adjusted baseline magnesium intake was inversely associated with cardiovascular, cancer and all-cause mortality. Those in the highest tertile of magnesium intake had a 34% reduction in mortality risk compared with lower consumption individuals. 
Guasch-Ferre et al suggests several explanations for these findings, including that hypertension is a strong risk factor for CVD and magnesium has been found to lower blood pressure. They also note that magnesium intake may “inhibit platelet aggregation, modulate inflammation and improve endothelial function. 
All of these mechanisms can have a beneficial effect on lowering the risk of CVD and death.”


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