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Lower magnesium levels linked with increased mortality risk during up to 40 years of follow-up

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

October 20 2017. In an article appearing on August 30, 2017 in the journal Clinical Nutrition, Xi Zhang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and colleagues reported an association between decreased serum levels of magnesium and a greater risk of dying from any cause during a follow-up period of up to 40 years.

The study included data from 14,343 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I Epidemiologic Follow-Up Study. Serum magnesium concentrations were measured upon enrollment between 1971 and 1975. Mortality data was available through 2011.

There were 9,012 deaths during a median follow-up of 28.6 years. In comparison with subjects whose serum magnesium levels were between 0.8 and 0.89 micromoles per liter (mmol/L), having a deficient level of less than 0.7 mmol/L was associated with an adjusted 34% greater risk of dying over follow-up. Those with magnesium levels of less than 0.7 mmol/L had more than two and a half times the risk of dying from stroke than subjects with magnesium levels of 0.8-0.89 mmol/L. Further analysis found the strongest protective association for magnesium in men.

“Several mechanisms may explain the beneficial effects of magnesium, including maintaining glucose and insulin homeostasis, improving lipid metabolism, enhancing the vascular or myocardial contractility and vasodilation, and providing antiarrhythmic and antiplatelet effects,” the authors write. “Moreover, several small secondary prevention randomized trials have shown that oral magnesium supplementation improved endothelial function, reduced thrombosis, and increased cardiopulmonary function and left ventricular ejection fraction among cardiovascular disease patients.”

“Our findings support the hypothesis that serum magnesium may be clinically useful for predicting long-term health outcomes and mortality in the general population,” they conclude.

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