News

Magnesium benefits male hearts

December 7, 2009

Increased intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in men, but the evidence is lacking for women, says a new review.

The review includes six randomized controlled trials (RCT) and prospective studies with magnesium doses ranging from 130 to 800 milligrams per day (1). There was a modest relationship between dietary magnesium intake and a reduced risk of CHD in male subjects; however, there was no noted decrease in the development of CHD disease in women who had high magnesium intake. None of the studies reported any adverse effects from magnesium supplementation.

At this time, research is inadequate to prove that oral magnesium intake decreases the future risk of CHD development; but, in the meantime, maintaining a high normal serum magnesium level has been shown to have very few side-effects and is clearly beneficial after the diagnosis of CHD to prevent further complications of heart disease, the researchers commented.

The scientists noted that magnesium may be helpful for other disease states, including a reduction in the risk of stroke, improved skeletal growth and development, and a reduced risk of preeclampsia in women. Because magnesium is relatively safe, affordable, and vital for many functions in the body, oral magnesium supplementation is recommended, they wrote.

Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys show that many adults do not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

References

  1. Mathers TW and Beckstrand RL. Oral magnesium supplementation in adults with coronary heart disease or coronary heart disease risk. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 2009, 21(12):651–657.