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Magnesium supplement lowers blood pressure

A supplement containing a reasonable dose of magnesium lowers blood pressure. The effect isn't overwhelming, but big enough to reduce the chance of a stroke slightly. Epidemiologists at Indiana University drew this conclusion after doing a meta-study, for which they gathered data from 34 previously published trials and then reanalysed it.

Roughly two thousand people participated in the trials that the researchers used. Some had raised blood pressure, others didn't. The length of the trials varied from six weeks to six months. Dosages varied between 260 and 940 mg magnesium per day.

Most of the participants had been given inorganic magnesium compounds such as magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide or magnesium chloride, but some had had organic analogues such as magnesium aspartate, magnesium lactate, magnesium citrate or magnesium pidolate. The researchers didn't look at the effect of the different types of magnesium supplement.

The higher the dose, the greater the reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Magnesium supplement lowers blood pressure

The concentration of magnesium in the blood reached its highest point after 2-3 months of supplementation. So it can take a while before the effects of supplementation are observed and blood pressure actually goes down.

Magnesium supplement lowers blood pressure

If you take just under 400 mg magnesium per day, then according to this study an average individual's systolic blood pressure should go down by 2 points after a month. Diastolic blood pressure will have gone down by 1.8 points.

"The meta-analysis, based on evidence from 34 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, showed a significant antihypertensive effect of magnesium supplementation on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among normotensive or hypertensive adults", the researchers wrote.

"Our findings suggested that oral magnesium supplements can be recommended for the prevention of hypertension or as adjuvant antihypertensive therapy, although future rigorously designed randomized controlled trial with blood pressure assessment as primary outcomes are warranted to yield confirmatory evidence."

Hypertension. 2016 Aug;68(2):324-33.

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Cardiovascular Health