Background: Magnesium deficiency can cause dyslipidemia and insulin hypersecretion, which may facilitate gallstone formation. However, the effect of long-term consumption of magnesium on the risk of gallstone disease is unknown.
Methods: We prospectively studied magnesium consumption and risk of gallstone disease in a cohort of 42,705 U.S. men from 1986 to 2002. Magnesium consumption was assessed using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Newly diagnosed gallstone disease was ascertained biennially.
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Results: We documented 2,195 incident cases of symptomatic gallstones during 560,810 person-years of follow-up. The age-adjusted relative risks (RRs) for men with total magnesium intake and dietary magnesium, when the highest and lowest quintiles were compared, were 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59-0.77, P for trend <0.0001) and 0.67 (CI 0.59-0.76, P for trend <0.0001), respectively.[One-third less risk.]
After adjusting for multiple potential confounding variables, when extreme quintiles were compared, the multivariate RR of total magnesium intake (RR 0.72, CI 0.61-0.86, P for trend = 0.006) and dietary magnesium (RR 0.68, CI 0.57-0.82, P for trend = 0.0006) remained significant with a dose-response relationship.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest a protective role of magnesium consumption in the prevention of symptomatic gallstone disease among men.
Source: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Feb 2008;103(2):375-82. PMID: 18076730, by Tsai CJ, Leitzmann MF, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL. Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.