Meta-analysis favors beneficial effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure

This issue of Life Extension® Update is the first in our "Best of Life Extension® Update” series, in which we take a look back at some of the most important stories in the field of life extension over the past several years.

July 2, 2019

The September 2017 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported the results of a meta-analysis which concluded that supplementing with magnesium was associated with a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in men and women with insulin resistance, prediabetes or noncommunicable chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"To our knowledge, the effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure in individuals with preclinical or noncommunicable diseases has not been previously investigated in a meta-analysis," write Daniel T. Dibaba of Indiana University and colleagues.

For their analysis, the researchers selected 11 randomized, controlled trials that included a total of 543 participants. Magnesium doses ranged from 365 milligrams (mg) per day to 450 mg per day consumed for 1 to 6 months. Control groups received a placebo or no treatment. Blood pressure was measured at the beginning and end of the trials.

In a pooled analysis of all trial participants, supplementing with magnesium was associated with a greater reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to the controls. When blood pressure measurements obtained at the beginning of the trials were compared to those obtained at the trials' conclusions, supplementing with magnesium was associated with an average reduction of 4.18 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and a 2.27 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

The authors observe that magnesium may directly lower blood pressure as well as improve preclinical conditions and chronic diseases that predispose people to develop hypertension. "Magnesium supplementation may play role in breaking the cycle between the preclinical conditions and type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases through the lowering of blood pressure," they write.

"The pooled results suggest that magnesium supplementation significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or other noncommunicable chronic diseases,” Dr. Dibaba and colleagues conclude.

Apply What You’ve Learned: Magnesium

  • An estimated 64% of all men and 67% of women in the U.S. have an inadequate dietary intake of magnesium.1
  • Magnesium is needed for over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body.2
  • Magnesium may support vascular tone and other factors involved in maintaining blood pressure that is already within normal range.3
  • A study published in the journal Epidemiology found a lower risk of dying from any cause during more than 18 years of follow-up among men whose serum magnesium levels were among the top 25% of 4,035 subjects in comparison with those whose levels were among the lowest 25%.4


  1. Qu X et al. PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e57720.
  2. Newhouse IJ et al. Clin J Sport Med. 2000 Jul;10(3):195-200.
  3. Shechter M et al. Magnes Res. 2010 Jun;23(2):60-72.
  4. Leone N et al. Epidemiology. 2006 May;17(3):308-14.

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