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Survived a stroke? Make sure you get enough magnesium

If you have survived a stroke, a high magnesium intake - actually: a magnesium intake that corresponds to the dietary guidelines - reduces your risk of death. Another point for the supplement industry.

Survived a stroke? Make sure you get enough magnesium

Neurologists from The First People's Hospital of Linhai in China analyzed data collected from 2007-2018 in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES]. The data involved 917 Americans who had survived a stroke and for whom the researchers were able to find out how much magnesium they had consumed through supplements and regular foods.

The researchers calculated how much magnesium per calorie the study participants had consumed. They then divided study participants into 4 equal-sized groups based on their magnesium intake [quartiles]. They then determined the association between magnesium intake and the risk of death.

During the period the Chinese studied, 277 study participants died.

The study participants in the quartile with the highest magnesium intake [Quartile 4] consumed more than 18.5 milligrams of elemental magnesium per day for every 100 kcals consumed. Their risk of death was 40 percent smaller than that of the study participants in the quartile with the lowest intake [Quartile 1]. In quartile 1, participants consumed less than 12 milligrams of magnesium per 100 kcal daily.

Click on the table below for a larger version.

Survived a stroke? Make sure you get enough magnesium

The researchers used statistics to remove the effect of factors such as age, sex, race, education, ratio of family income to poverty, BMI, smoking, drinking, total energy intake, total PUFA intake, total fiber intake, total sodium intake, total potassium intake, total calcium intake, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, and serum creatinine".

According to the EFSA, adults need 300-350 milligrams of elemental magnesium daily. About seventy percent of the study participants did not achieve this.

The researchers speculate that after a stroke, adequate magnesium intake may lower mortality in two different ways. Magnesium may protect brain cells from excitoxic damage, [CNS Drugs. 2001;15(12):921-30.] but magnesium can also be active through cardiovascular mechanisms. For example, magnesium lowers blood pressure and protects the vessel walls against calcification.

Of every 3 study participants, 1 used magnesium supplements. When the researchers only looked at the intake of magnesium from food, they no longer found a significant protective effect. This probably has to do with the low intake of magnesium from regular foods in this group - read: a diet that is not optimal.

Nutr J. 2023 Oct 30;22(1):54.

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Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium-rich diet reduces mortality risk More magnesium, longer life expectancy Low magnesium levels will kill you

Magnesium-rich diet reduces mortality risk
Magnesium supplements probably fit perfectly in the life-extensionist's diet.

More magnesium, longer life expectancy
In older age groups, where cancer and cardiovascular disease are major causes of death, magnesium reduces the mortality risk.

Low magnesium levels will kill you
Men who make sure their magnesium levels are somewhere above average may cut their risk of death in half.