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Magnesium may lower colon cancer risk

October 18, 2012

Higher magnesium intake seems to be associated with a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, in particular colon cancer, suggests a new study from China.

The meta-analysis included data from eight prospective studies containing 338,979 participants with 8,000 cases of colorectal cancer (1). The study results indicated that the highest average intakes of magnesium were associated with an 11% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, compared with the lowest average intakes. When the analysis was restricted to the six studies that adjusted for calcium intake, the results showed that the risk of colon and rectal cancer was 19% and 6% lower, respectively, for the highest average magnesium intakes.

Earlier meta-analyses reported that for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake the risk of colorectal cancer decreased by 12% (2) and the risk of stroke was reduced by about 8% (3). Dietary surveys have shown that a large proportion of adults do not meet the intake recommendations for magnesium – 320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men.

References

  1. Chen G. C. et al. Magnesium intake and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online October 2012.
  2. Wark P. A. et al. Magnesium intake and colorectal tumor risk: a case-control study and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012; 96(3):622–631.
  3. 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.