Skip to content

 Magnesium is a mineral found in the human body that is necessary for good health. New research analysed 40 studies and found that a diet rich in magnesium is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and death ("all cause mortality").

Even though there are many magnesium rich foods, it is estimated that many people don't get enough magnesium in the diet, especially if they eat a lot of processed, low-fiber foods. Current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are 320 mg daily for adult females and 420 mg daily for adult males (NIH magnesium fact-sheets - here and here). Especially good sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, chocolate, and whole grains. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium.From EurekAlert:

Dietary magnesium associated with reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes

A diet rich in magnesium may reduce the risk of diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes according to a new meta-analysis published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. This analysis of the evidence on dietary magnesium and health outcomes is the largest to date, involving data from more than one million people across nine countries.

The researchers, from Zhejiang University and Zhengzhou University in China, found that people in the highest category of dietary magnesium consumption had a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease, 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of type-2 diabetes compared to those in the lowest category. Their results also indicate that an extra 100 mg per day of dietary magnesium could also reduce risk of stroke by 7% and type-2 diabetes by 19%.

Magnesium is vital for human health and normal biological functions including glucose metabolism, protein production and synthesis of nucleic acids such as DNA. Diet is the main source of magnesium as the element can be found in foods such as spices, nuts, beans, cocoa, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

Original study. from BMC Medicine: Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

Increasing dietary magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and all-cause mortality, but not CHD [coronary heart disease] or total CVD [cardiovascular disease]. These findings support the notion that increasing dietary magnesium might provide health benefits....Magnesium is essential to all living organisms, as it controls the function of many crucial enzymes, including those that utilize or synthesize ATP ....