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LE Magazine May 2008


Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults.

Despite the role of magnesium in maintaining health, much of the US population has historically not consumed adequate amounts of magnesium. Furthermore, significant racial or ethnic disparities in magnesium intake exist. Our objective was to provide more recent data about magnesium intake in the U.S. population. We analyzed the 24-h dietary recall data from 4,257 participants aged >or=20 y from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000. The median intake of magnesium was 326 mg/d (mean 352 mg/d) among Caucasian men, 237 mg/d (mean 278 mg/d) among African American men, 297 mg/d (330 mg/d) among Mexican American men, 237 mg/d (mean 256 mg/d) among Caucasian women, 177 mg/d (mean 202 mg/d) among African American women, and 221 mg/d (mean 242 mg/d) among Mexican American women. Among men and women, Caucasians had significantly higher mean intakes of dietary magnesium than African Americans but not Mexican Americans. Magnesium intake decreased with increasing age (P for linear trend = 0.035 for Caucasians; P for linear trend <0.001 for African Americans and Mexican Americans). Men had higher intakes of magnesium than women for each of the three race or ethnic groups (P < 0.001 in each group). Caucasian men, African American men and Caucasian women who used vitamin, mineral or dietary supplements consumed significantly more magnesium in their diets than did those who did not. Substantial numbers of US adults fail to consume adequate magnesium in their diets. Furthermore, racial or ethnic differences in magnesium persist and may contribute to some health disparities.

J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2879-82

Intravenous magnesium sulphate relieves migraine attacks in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels: a pilot study.

We tested the hypothesis that patients with an acute attack of migraine headache and low serum levels (< 0.54 mmol/l) of ionized magnesium are more likely to respond to an intravenous infusion of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) than patients with higher serum ionized magnesium levels. 2. Serum ionized magnesium levels were drawn immediately before infusion of 1 g of MgSO4 in 40 consecutive patients with an acute migraine headache. 3. Pain reduction of 50% or more as measured on a headache intensity verbal scale of 1 to 10, occurred within 15 min of infusion in 35 patients. In 21 patients, at least this degree of improvement or complete relief persisted for 24h or more. Pain relief lasted at least 24h in 18 of 21 patients (86%) with serum ionized magnesium levels below 0.54 mmol/l, and in 3 of 19 patients (16%) with ionized magnesium levels at or above 0.54 mmol/l (P < 0.001). Mean ionized magnesium levels in patients with relief lasting for at least 24h were significantly lower than in patients with no relief or brief relief (P < 0.01). 4. Measurement of serum ionized magnesium levels may be useful in identifying patients with migraine headaches who may respond to an intravenous infusion of MgSO4.

Clin Sci (Lond). 1995 Dec;89(6):633-6

Intravenous magnesium sulfate rapidly alleviates headaches of various types.

BACKGROUND: Circumstantial evidence points to the possible role of magnesium deficiency in the pathogenesis of headaches and has raised questions about the clinical utility of magnesium as a therapeutic regimen in some headaches. METHODS: We evaluated the efficacy of intravenous infusion of 1 gram of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) for the treatment of patients with headaches and attempted to correlate clinical responses to the basal serum ionized magnesium (IMg2+) level. We also determined if patients with certain headache types exhibit low serum IMg2+ as opposed to total serum magnesium. Using a case-control comparison at an outpatient headache clinic, a consecutive sample of patients presenting with a moderate or severe headache of any type were included in the study. Of the 40 patients in the study (mean age 38.2 +/- 9.4 years; range 14 to 55; 11 men [39.2 +/- 7.3 years] and 29 women [37.8 +/- 10.2 years]), 16 patients had migraines without aura, 9 patients had cluster headaches, 4 patients had chronic tension-type headaches, and 11 had chronic migrainous headaches. Total serum magnesium was measured with atomic absorption spectroscopy and a Kodak Ektachem DT-60. Sensitive ion selective electrodes were utilized to measure serum IMg2+ and ionized calcium (ICa2+); ICa2+/IMg2+ ratios were calculated. RESULTS: Complete elimination of pain was observed in 80% of the patients within 15 minutes of infusion of MgSO4. No recurrence or worsening of pain was observed within 24 hours in 56% of the patients. Patients treated with MgSO4 observed complete elimination of migraine-associated symptoms such as photophobia and phonophobia as well as nausea. Correlation was noted between immediate and 24-hour responses with the serum IMg2+ levels. Immediate pain relief was observed in 32 (80%) of 40 patients (P < 0.001). In 18. of the 32 patients, pain relief persisted for at least 24 hours (P < 0.005). Of these 18 patients, 16 (89%) had a low serum IMg2+ level. Total magnesium levels in contrast in all subjects were within normal range (0.70-0.99 mmol/L). No side effects were observed, except for a brief flushed feeling. Of the 8 patients with no relief, only 37.5% had a low IMg2+ level. Patients demonstrating no return of headache or associated symptoms within 24 hours of intravenous MgSO4 exhibited the lowest initial basal levels of IMg2+. Non-responders exhibited significantly elevated total magnesium levels compared to responders. Although most subcategories of headache types investigated (ie, migraine, cluster, chronic migrainous) exhibited low serum IMg2+ during headache and prior to intravenous MgSO4, the patients with cluster headaches exhibited the lowest basal levels of IMg2+ (P < 0.01). All headache subjects except for the chronic tension group exhibited rather high serum ICa2+/IMg2+ ratios (P < 0.01, compared to controls). CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous infusion of 1 gram of MgSO4 results in rapid relief of headache pain in patients with low serum IMg2+ levels. Measurement of serum IMg2+ levels may have a practical application in many types of headache patients. Low serum and brain tissue ionized magnesium levels may precipitate headache symptoms in susceptible patients.

Headache. 1996 Mar;36(3):154-60

Magnesium intake and the metabolic syndrome: epidemiologic evidence to date.

The importance of magnesium intake in relation to the metabolic syndrome has been increasingly recognized. Magnesium is an essential mineral, critical for a number of metabolic functions in the human body. The major dietary sources of magnesium intake include whole grains, legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Animal studies indicate a pivotal role of magnesium in glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion and action. Experimental and clinical studies suggest that magnesium intake may be inversely related to the risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and may decrease blood triglyceride and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. The purpose of this brief review is to summarize the epidemiologic data relating magnesium to the metabolic syndrome and to discuss the potential mechanisms.

J Cardiometab Syndr. 2006 Fall;1(5):351-5

Magnesium intake and incidence of metabolic syndrome among young adults.

BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that magnesium intake may be inversely related to risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus and that higher intake of magnesium may decrease blood triglycerides and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. However, the longitudinal association of magnesium intake and incidence of metabolic syndrome has not been investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively examined the relations between magnesium intake and incident metabolic syndrome and its components among 4,637 Americans, aged 18 to 30 years, who were free from metabolic syndrome and diabetes at baseline. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program/Adult Treatment Panel III definition. Diet was assessed by an interviewer-administered quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and magnesium intake was derived from the nutrient database developed by the Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center. During the 15 years of follow-up, 608 incident cases of the metabolic syndrome were identified. Magnesium intake was inversely associated with incidence of metabolic syndrome after adjustment for major lifestyle and dietary variables and baseline status of each component of the metabolic syndrome. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of magnesium intake, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of metabolic syndrome for participants in the highest quartile was 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 0.91; P for trend <0.01). The inverse associations were not materially modified by gender and race. Magnesium intake was also inversely related to individual component of the metabolic syndrome and fasting insulin levels. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that young adults with higher magnesium intake have lower risk of development of metabolic syndrome.

Circulation. 2006 Apr 4;113(13):1675-82

Role of dietary magnesium in cardiovascular disease prevention, insulin sensitivity and diabetes.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes the evidence for benefits of magnesium on metabolic abnormalities, inflammatory parameters, and cardiovascular risk factors and related-potential mechanisms. Controversy due to contrasting results in the literature is also discussed. RECENT FINDINGS: Increased dietary magnesium intake confers protection against the incidence of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. It ameliorates insulin resistance, serum lipid profiles, and lowers inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and platelet aggregability. Magnesium acts as a mild calcium antagonist on vascular smooth muscle tone, and on postreceptor insulin signaling; it is critically involved in energy metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, glucose utilization, ATPase functions, release of neurotransmitters, and endothelial cell function and secretion. Prospective studies, however, have found only a modest effect for dietary magnesium on incident pathologies. Furthermore, magnesium supplementation on glucose metabolism, blood lipid levels, and ischemic heart disease has given inconsistent results. SUMMARY: There is strong biological plausibility for the direct impact of magnesium intake on metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, but in-vivo magnesium deficiency might play only a modest role. Reverse causality, the strong association between magnesium and other beneficial nutrients, or the possibility that people who choose magnesium-rich foods are more health-conscious may be confounding factors.

Curr Opin Lipidol. 2008 Feb;19(1):50-6

Dietary magnesium intake and the future risk of coronary heart disease (the Honolulu Heart Program).

Magnesium (Mg) deficiency is believed to have adverse cardiovascular consequences that are broad and complex, although an association between dietary Mg intake and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) has not been clearly identified. The purpose of this study is to examine the relation between dietary Mg intake and future risk of CHD. Reported findings are based on dietary Mg intake in 7,172 men in the Honolulu Heart Program. Intake of Mg was recorded at baseline examinations that took place from 1965 to 1968 when the men were aged 45 to 68 years. In 30 years of follow-up, 1,431 incident cases of CHD were identified. Within 15 years after dietary assessment, the age-adjusted incidence decreased significantly from 7.3 to 4.0 per 1,000 person-years in the lowest (50.3 to 186 mg/day) versus highest (340 to 1,183 mg/day) quintiles of Mg intake (p <0.001). When adjustments were made for age and other nutrients (singly or combined), there was a 1.7- to 2.1-fold excess in the risk of CHD in the lowest versus highest quintiles (p <0.001). The excess risk ranged from 1.5- to 1.8-fold after further adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors (p <0.05). Associations between dietary Mg and coronary events occurring after 15 years of follow-up were modest. We conclude that the intake of dietary Mg is associated with a reduced risk of CHD. Whether increases in dietary Mg intake can alter the future risk of disease warrants further study.

Am J Cardiol. 2003 Sep 15;92(6):665-9

Magnesium orotate in severe congestive heart failure (MACH).

BACKGROUND: Aim of this study was to evaluate adjuvant magnesium orotate on mortality and clinical symptoms in patients with severe heart failure under optimal cardiovascular medication. METHODS: In a monocentric, controlled, double-blind study, 79 patients with severe congestive heart failure (NYHA IV) under optimal medical cardiovascular treatment were randomised to receive either magnesium orotate (6,000 mg for 1 month, 3,000 mg for about 11 months, n=40) or placebo (n=39). Both groups were comparable in demographic data, duration of heart failure and pre- and concomitant treatment. RESULTS: After mean treatment duration of 1 year (magnesium orotate: 364.1+/-14.7 days, placebo: 361.2+/-12.7 days) the survival rate was 75.7% compared to 51.6% under placebo (p<0.05). Clinical symptoms improved in 38.5% of patients under magnesium orotate, whereas they deteriorated in 56.3% of patients under placebo (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Magnesium orotate may be used as adjuvant therapy in patients on optimal treatment for severe congestive heart failure, increasing survival rate and improving clinical symptoms and patient’s quality of life.

Int J Cardiol. 2008 Feb 15

Magnesium and C-reactive protein in heart failure: an anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium administration?

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the relationship between serum magnesium (Mg) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in heart failure (HF). AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the relationship, if any, between serum Mg and CRP in HF patients and, concomitantly, to test a hypothesis that Mg supplementation might affect serum CRP levels. METHODS: Serum Mg and CRP were evaluated in 68 patients with chronic systolic HF leading to hospital admission and 65 patients requiring hospitalization for other causes. Following 5 weeks, serum Mg, CRP and intracellular Mg were reevaluated in 17 HF patients after administration of oral Mg citrate 300 mg/day (group A), and 18 untreated HF patients (group B). In order to obtain Gaussian distribution, logarithmic transformation of CRP was performed. RESULTS: Inverse correlation was found between serum Mg and log CRP (r = -0.28, P = 0.002). Compared to controls, patients with HF demonstrated higher baseline CRP levels, independent of coexisting conditions, and lower serum Mg values. Following Mg treatment, log CRP decreased from 1.4 +/- 0.4 to 0.8 +/- 0.3 in group A (P < 0.001). No significant changes in log CRP were demonstrable in group B. Serum Mg (mmol/l) rose significantly in group A (0.74 +/- 0.04-0.88 +/- 0.08, P < 0.001), and to a lesser extent in group B (0.82 +/- 0.08-0.88 +/- 0.08, P = 0.04). Intracellular Mg significantly increased only in Mg-treated group A (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Oral Mg supplementation to HF patients significantly attenuates blood levels of CRP, a biomarker of inflammation. Targeting the inflammatory cascade by Mg administration might prove a useful tool for improving the prognosis in HF.

Eur J Nutr. 2007 Jun;46(4):230-7