New Study Shows Risk for A Common Type Of Stroke Is Lower In People With More Magnesium in Their Diet
Appearing in the February Issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition…
People who eat more foods rich in the mineral magnesium (such as dark, leafy green vegetables, nuts, whole grains) appear to reduce their chances of having a stroke, a new study shows.
The link between dietary intake of magnesium and stroke risk was specifically strongest for ischemic stroke, which is when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. Researchers found that the risk for ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke in older people, was reduced by 9% for each additional 100 milligrams of magnesium a person consumed each day.
Regularly eating magnesium-rich foods also helped reduce the chances of having any type of stroke. The study found that for every 100 additional milligrams of magnesium per day, people cut their risk of stroke by 8%.
The best natural sources for the magnesium are whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and beans. Foods that supply 100 mg milligrams of magnesium a day include: one ounce of almonds or cashews, one cup of beans or brown rice, three-quarters of a cup of cooked spinach or kale, as well as one cup of cooked oat bran cereal.
For the research, Swedish scientists from the Karolinska Institute reviewed data from seven previously published studies of magnesium intake and stroke. These studies were done between 1998 and 2011, and included more than 240,000 people.
In these studies, people aged 34 and older were followed from eight to 15 years. During that time, nearly 6,500 people had a stroke. The average magnesium intake of all study participants ranged from 242 milligrams a day up to 471 milligrams daily.
In the U.S., the Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium is 420 milligrams (mg) per day for men aged 31 and older, and 320 milligrams daily for women in the same age range.
The study appears in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research showed that people who had higher amounts of magnesium in their diets had a lower risk for stroke. This was true even when the scientists took into account multiple other factors that may have confounded the results, such as blood pressure, diabetes, age, smoking, high cholesterol, physical activity, vitamin -mineral supplementation, other dietary factors, alcohol consumption, and family history of heart disease.
Although it’s still unclear exactly how magnesium reduces stroke risk, the researchers suggest that the benefits of this essential mineral may be related to its ability to lower blood pressure. Diets high in magnesium have also been linked with lower rates of type 2 diabetes, also a risk factor for stroke.
Thus, the study researchers recommend… “Increased consumption of magnesium–rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole-grain cereals appears to be prudent,”
An editorial on the study also encourages people at high risk for stroke to include more foods rich in magnesium in their diets. And it suggests that it’s time for a large study to test whether taking magnesium supplements can help prevent stroke and heart disease in adults at high risk for these health problems. Source: American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition (published online)
Article “Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke; a meta-analysis of prospective studies”
Editorial “Magnesium for cardiovascular health: time for intervention”
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor orhealthcare professional.