Increased intakes of magnesium may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease

June 19, 2013

According to a new US review, elevated blood concentrations and intakes of magnesium may decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 30 %.

The review and meta-analysis comprised 16 prospective studies providing the blood magnesium levels and estimated intakes as well as documented cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including ischemic heart disease (IHD), among a total of 313,041 participants (1). The analysis showed that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease was reduced by 30 % in participants with incremented amounts of circulating magnesium (per 0.2 mmol/L). In addition, trends for a risk reduction of IHD and fatal IHD were shown. Higher magnesium intake (per 200 mg/day) was not significantly associated with CVD but was associated with a 22 % lower risk of IHD.

The researchers noted that these findings supported the need for clinical trials to evaluate the potential role of magnesium in the prevention of CVD. Observational and experimental studies have shown that magne-sium can exert beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system by enhancing endothelium-dependent vasodilation, improving lipid metabolism, reducing inflammation and inhibiting platelet function (2). Although marked reductions in magnesium concentrations or intakes produce adverse cardiovascular effects, such as heart rhythm changes (3), it remains unclear whether the CVD risk differs across the normal physiologic concentration range of circulating magnesium or dietary magnesium intake.


  1. Del Gobbo L. C. et al. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. Published online May 2013.
  2. Shechter M. Magnesium and cardiovascular system. Magnes Res. 2010; 23:60–72.
  3. Nielsen F. H. et al. Dietary magnesium deficiency induces heart rhythm changes, impairs glucose tolerance, and decreases serum cholesterol in postmenopausal women. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007; 26:121–132.