Greater magnesium intake associated with decreased inflammation
Friday, February 21, 2014. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a meta-analysis on February 12, 2014 which reveals an association between increased dietary magnesium and lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation.
D. T. Dibaba and colleagues at Indiana University's School of Public Health selected seven cross-sectional studies involving a total of 32,918 male and female participants for their analysis. Food frequency questionnaire responses or National Health and Nutrition and Nutrition Examination Survey data were analyzed for magnesium intake.
Pooled analysis of data from four of the cross-sectional studies uncovered an association between rising magnesium intake and declining CRP levels. In the three cross-sectional studies that compared lowest to highest intake, a 49% greater risk of having an elevated CRP level of over 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) was found among participants whose magnesium intake was lowest in comparison with the highest intake group. An additional review of five interventional studies involving magnesium supplementation also indicated an anti-inflammatory benefit for the mineral.
The authors detail a chain of events in the body that lead from insufficient magnesium intake to elevated C-reactive protein levels. "Our results suggest that the potential beneficial effect of magnesium intake on the risk of chronic diseases may be, at least in part, explained by inhibiting inflammation," the authors conclude. "Because inflammation is a risk factor of various chronic diseases, increasing magnesium intake is certainly of great public health significance."
The November 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research published the findings of a study conducted at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute in Puducherry, India, of reduced levels of vitamin D, calcium and magnesium in diabetic individuals, as well as associations between increased insulin resistance and decreased concentrations of serum vitamin D and magnesium.
The study compared 30 diabetic men and women with an equal number of nondiabetic control subjects matched for gender and age. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for serum glucose, insulin, 25-hydroxyvitamin-D3 and insulin levels, and insulin resistance was determined.
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels averaged 12.29 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) among those with type 2 diabetes in comparison with 19.55 ng/mL in the healthy controls. Serum calcium and magnesium levels were also significantly lower and fasting glucose, insulin and insulin resistance were greater among those with diabetes. A significant correlation was determined between lower vitamin D levels and higher insulin levels as well as insulin resistance. Additionally, higher vitamin D levels were correlated with increased magnesium status, and low magnesium with insulin resistance.
In their discussion, authors Mahendra Bhauraoji Gandhe and colleagues suggest that serum magnesium levels be measured in obese men and women as a predictor of insulin resistance and increased diabetes risk. They further remark that magnesium supplementation could help delay the onset of the disease.
"High risk population should be screened thoroughly and must be placed on vitamin D supplements," they write. "As per our observation, we hereby advise all our type 2 diabetes mellitus patients to take vitamin D and calcium regularly. Those who are using sunscreen with high SPF (sun protection factor) should receive supplements of vitamin D and calcium."
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