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Meta-analysis finds magnesium protective against heart disease risk

Meta-analysis finds magnesium protective against heart disease risk

Friday, June 7, 2013. A review and meta-analysis published online on May 29, 2013 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds evidence to a protective effect for magnesium against the risk of cardiovascular disease, including fatal ischemic heart disease.

For their review, Harvard researchers selected 16 studies that examined the association between serum magnesium or dietary magnesium with cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and fatal ischemic heart disease. The studies included a total of 313,041 men and women, among whom 11,995 had cardiovascular disease and 7,534 had ischemic heart disease. There were 2,686 fatal ischemic heart disease events in the combined study populations.

Analysis of the studies that examined the effects of serum magnesium found a 30 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease in association with each 0.2 micromole per liter increase in the mineral, as well as trends toward lower ischemic heart disease and fatal ischemic heart disease risk. Additionally, there was a 22 percent lower risk of ischemic heart disease with each 200 milligram per day increase in magnesium intake.

Evidence to support the current findings has been provided by studies and trials that revealed improvement in vascular tone and endothelial function, reductions in platelet aggregation, elevations in high density lipoprotein (HDL), better glucose homeostasis and a decreased risk of stroke in association with higher levels of magnesium. While circulating levels of the mineral are responsive to supplementation or increased dietary intake, magnesium is under homeostatic regulation and levels may vary according to other factors. Authors Liana C. Del Gobbo and associates note, however, that the current findings support the importance of adequate dietary magnesium, and that magnesium intake by most Americans is well below the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

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An article published online on June 3, 2013 in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals that the practice of just four healthy lifestyle factors by men and women between 44 and 84 years of age reduced the risk of dying by 80 percent over a 7.6 year period in comparison with those who followed none of the practices.

The current analysis included participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), an ongoing study of the risk factors, prevalence and prevention of cardiovascular disease. The participants, who did not have cardiovascular disease upon enrollment, underwent coronary artery calcium screening at the beginning of the study to ascertain the presence of calcium deposits which predict heart attack risk. Subjects were scored on their adherence to behaviors that included not smoking, engaging in regular exercise, consuming a Mediterranean style diet and maintaining a normal weight, and were followed for an average of 7.6 years during which any chest pain, coronary events, or deaths were noted.

"We evaluated data on more than 6,200 men and women, age 44-84, from white, African-American, Hispanic and Chinese backgrounds," reported lead author Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, who is an internal medicine resident with the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. "All were followed for an average of 7.6 years. Those who adopted all four healthy behaviors had an 80 percent lower death rate over that time period compared to participants with none of the healthy behaviors."

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to find a protective association between low-risk lifestyle factors and early signs of vascular disease, coronary heart disease and death, in a single longitudinal evaluation," he announced. "While there are risk factors that people can't control, such as their family history and age, these lifestyle measures are things that people can change and consequently make a big difference in their health. That's why we think this is so important."

Life Extension Magazine® June 2013 Issue Now Online!

Life Extension Magazine June, 2013 

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