Increased magnesium intake may reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome

September 8, 2015

A new US data analysis reports that elevated dietary intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by about 30%.

The meta-analysis included data of six observational studies with 24,473 participants, investigating a potential link between magnesium intakes and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (1). The analysis showed that participants with the highest average dietary intakes of magnesium were at a 31% lower risk of metabolic syndrome than people with the lowest average intakes. Moreover, every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake reduced the overall risk of having metabolic syndrome by 17%. The average magnesium intakes ranged from 117 to 423 mg per day.

The researchers commented that these new findings support the hypothesis that a low level of dietary magnesium intake is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome. Further studies, especially randomized placebo-controlled trials, are warranted to provide a causal relationship. Magnesium may influence metabolic syndrome via multiple mechanisms, including effects on glucose metabolism, lipid uptake in the liver, inflammatory mediators, and smooth muscle activity. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued positive opinions on magnesium and the maintenance of normal bone, teeth, and protein synthesis, the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, electrolyte balance, normal energy-yielding metabolism, neurotransmission and muscle contraction. Despite the benefits it is reported that between 70 and 80% of the US population are not meeting their recommended intakes of magnesium.


  1. Dibaba D. T. et al. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Diabetic Medicine. 2014; 31(11):1301-1309.