Make a Date with Magnesium – Your Health Depends on It

Unless you’re eating an extremely healthy diet (and we all should be) you’re probably missing out on magnesium. This mineral is crucial for the mind and body, but isn’t found in refined, over-processed foods. In fact, it may even be washed out of the soil that grows healthy foods.

Individuals who are overweight already have a cardiovascular challenge – their hearts need to work harder simply to keep up. Additionally, diets without a full range of nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and critical minerals like magnesium place another burden on the heart and arteries.

A six-month clinical study found that supplementation with magnesium alone reduced arterial stiffness – making blood vessels more flexible and better able to move blood through the body. In other recent research, magnesium was shown to improve fasting insulin numbers and reduced gene activity related to inflammation in overweight adults in a four-week study.

Considering the power of that one ingredient, you can imagine the difference with a healthy diet bolstered with a complete regimen of heart-friendly nutrients.



Joris PJ, Plat J, Bakker SJ, Mensink RP. Long-term magnesium supplementation improves arterial stiffness in overweight and obese adults: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 May;103(5):1260-6.


Epidemiologic studies have suggested a protective effect of magnesium intake on cardiovascular disease risk. However, intervention trials of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure and conventional cardiometabolic risk markers are inconsistent. Effects on vascular function markers related to cardiovascular disease risk have rarely been studied.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to evaluate the effects of long-term magnesium supplementation on arterial stiffness.

DESIGN: We performed a 24-wk, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study. Fifty-two overweight and slightly obese individuals (30 men and 22 postmenopausal women, mean ± SD age: 62 ± 6 y) were randomly allocated to receive either 3 times daily magnesium (3 × 117 mg or 350 mg/d) or placebo capsules. Twenty-four-hour urine collections and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure assessments were performed at the start and end of the study. Carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWVc-f) was assessed at baseline, after 12 wk, and at week 24.

RESULTS: Serum magnesium concentrations did not differ after 12 wk but tended to increase after 24-wk magnesium supplementation compared with placebo by 0.02 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.00, 0.04 mmol/L; P = 0.09). Twenty-four-hour urinary magnesium excretion increased by 2.01 mmol (95% CI: 1.22, 2.93 mmol; P < 0.001) at week 24. PWVc-f was not changed after 12 wk (0.0 m/s; 95% CI: -0.6, 0.5 m/s; P = 0.90) but was improved in the magnesium compared with the placebo group by 1.0 m/s (95% CI: 0.4, 1.6 m/s; P = 0.001) after 24 wk. Office and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure levels were not changed. No adverse events were observed.

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that a daily magnesium supplement of 350 mg for 24 wk in overweight and obese adults reduces arterial stiffness, as estimated by a decrease in PWVc-f, suggesting a potential mechanism by which an increased dietary magnesium intake beneficially affects cardiovascular health. 


Chacko SA, Sul J, Song Y, Li X, LeBlanc J, You Y, Butch A, Liu S. Magnesium supplementation, metabolic and inflammatory markers, and global genomic and proteomic profiling: a randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover trial in overweight individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):463-73.

BACKGROUND: Dietary magnesium intake has been favorably associated with reduced risk of metabolic outcomes in observational studies; however, few randomized trials have introduced a systems-biology approach to explore molecular mechanisms of pleiotropic metabolic actions of magnesium supplementation.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the effects of oral magnesium supplementation on metabolic biomarkers and global genomic and proteomic profiling in overweight individuals.

DESIGN: We undertook this randomized, crossover, pilot trial in 14 healthy, overweight volunteers [body mass index (in kg/m(2)) ≥25] who were randomly assigned to receive magnesium citrate (500 mg elemental Mg/d) or a placebo for 4 wk with a 1-mo washout period. Fasting blood and urine specimens were collected according to standardized protocols. Biochemical assays were conducted on blood specimens. RNA was extracted and subsequently hybridized with the Human Gene ST 1.0 array (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA). Urine proteomic profiling was analyzed with the CM10 ProteinChip array (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA).

RESULTS: We observed that magnesium treatment significantly decreased fasting C-peptide concentrations (change: -0.4 ng/mL after magnesium treatment compared with +0.05 ng/mL after placebo treatment; P = 0.004) and appeared to decrease fasting insulin concentrations (change: -2.2 μU/mL after magnesium treatment compared with 0.0 μU/mL after placebo treatment; P = 0.25). No consistent patterns were observed across inflammatory biomarkers. Gene expression profiling revealed up-regulation of 24 genes and down-regulation of 36 genes including genes related to metabolic and inflammatory pathways such as C1q and tumor necrosis factor-related protein 9 (C1QTNF9) and pro-platelet basic protein (PPBP). Urine proteomic profiling showed significant differences in the expression amounts of several peptides and proteins after treatment.

CONCLUSION: Magnesium supplementation for 4 wk in overweight individuals led to distinct changes in gene expression and proteomic profiling consistent with favorable effects on several metabolic pathways.

Read the complete article: Magnesium supplementation, metabolic and inflammatory markers, and global genomic and proteomic profiling: a randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover trial in overweight individuals


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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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