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Magnesium In The Diet May Reduce Risk Of Stroke

New Study Shows Risk for A Common Type Of Stroke Is Lower In People With More Magnesium in Their Diet calcium, magnesium

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 magnesiumrich 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.

Eating Green Vegetables Improves Your Immune Defenses

New Research Conducted By Immunologists Demonstrates How Eating Green green veggiesVegetables Improves Immune Function.

Be Sure To Include Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Phyto-Nutrients As Part Of Your Healthy Diet

FACT: Eating Green Vegetables Boosts Your Immune Defenses.

Nutrition researchers have found another good reason to eat green vegetables (from bok choy to broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.); they are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system.  The vegetables ensure that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly.

“It is still surprising ” said researchers from The Babraham Institute in Cambridge. “we expected cells at the surface would play some role in the interaction with the outside world, but such a clear cut interaction with the diet was unexpected. After feeding otherwise healthy lab subjects a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, we were amazed to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”

Those protective IELs exist as a network beneath the barrier of epithelial cells covering inner and outer body surfaces, where they are important as a first line of defense and in wound repair. The research team now finds that the numbers of IELs depend on levels of a cell-surface protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which can be regulated by dietary ingredients found primarily in cruciferous vegetables.

Subjects lacking this receptor lose control over the microbes living on the intestinal surface, both in terms of their numbers and composition.

Earlier studies suggested that breakdown of cruciferous vegetables can yield a compound that can be converted into a molecule that triggers AhRs. The new study finds that subjects fed a synthetic diet lacking this key compound experience a significant reduction in AhR activity and lose IELs. With reduced numbers of these key immune cells, they showed lower levels of antimicrobial proteins, heightened immune activation and greater susceptibility to injury. When the researchers intentionally damaged the intestinal surface in subjects that didn’t have normal AhR activity, the subjects were not as quick to repair that damage.

The immunologists involved in the research hope the findings will generate more interest in the medical community, noting that some of the basic characteristics observed in the subjects are consistent with those seen in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

They conclude  “it’s already a good idea to eat your greens.” Still, the results offer a molecular basis for the importance of cruciferous vegetable-derived phyto-nutrients as part of a healthy diet.

Story Source: Cell Press

Journal Reference: Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

Activation. Cell, 13 October 2011 Cell Press (2011, October 13). “Eating green veggies improves immune defenses”


This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.


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