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Magnesium may improve blood pressure

February 20, 2012

According to a newly published literature review, magnesium supplements may offer small but clinically significant reductions in blood pressure.

To evaluate the effect of magnesium on blood pressure, the meta-analysis included data from 22 trials invol-ving 1,173 participants (1). Daily magnesium supplementation ranged from 120 to 973 mg in trials that lasted between three and 24 weeks. The overall data indicated that magnesium supplementation was associated with a 3 to 4 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 2-3 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, with the best results observed for doses over 370 mg per day.

The researchers commented that magnesium supplementation appears to achieve a small but clinically significant reduction in blood pressure, which is worth investigating in future prospective large randomized controlled trials.

Hypertension, which characterizes having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure over 140 and 90 mmHg, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, causing almost 50% of the deaths in Europe. Data from phar-maceutical trials has revealed that a reduction in systolic blood pressure of between 0.8 and 2 mmHg was clinically significant in reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke. Another recent study, based on data pooled from seven prospective studies, revealed that the risk of stroke was reduced by about 9% for every daily 100 mg increase in magnesium intake (2).

References

1. Kass L. et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online February 2012.

2. Larsson S. C. et al. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 95(2):362–366.