Research: Magnesium Does a Body Good

According to Ed Edelson of the HealthDay News a recent study published in the March 28 issue of Circulation links high intake of magnesium with a reduced incidence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to the cluster of conditions that contribute to heart disease and diabetes. Edelson explains:

The components of metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, elevated blood fats and low levels of HDL cholesterol, the "good" kind that helps keep arteries clear. Having at least three of these factors increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The study began in 1985 and monitored more than 4,600 Americans. The conclusion showed that individuals consuming increased amounts of magnesium had a 31 percent lower chance of developing metabolic syndrome than those who did not.

According to researchers good sources of magnesium are halibut, dry roasted almonds, cashews, spinach, whole-grain cereals, avocados, bananas and raisins. Although, Dr. Fuhrman contends you should avoid halibut due to mercury contamination. (More on mercury.)

Dr. Ka He, an assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University encourages people to incorporate nutritious food into their diet when they are young so that can enjoy better health as they age. He urges that eating magnesium-rich food is only part of being healthy:

Magnesium is just a small part of the healthy heart story, He said. The standard recommendations for avoiding smoking, getting more physical activity, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer fatty foods are essential for health.

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Susan - March 28, 2006 2:49 PM

I wonder why the researchers mention dry roasted almonds but not raw almonds as a source of magnesium. Surely dry roasting does not put magnesium into almonds. (Sigh) And why would raisins have magnesium but not grapes? Does sun drying increase the magnesium concentration? Surely patients facing metabolic syndrome or diabetes would be better off eating the grapes? Hmm. Oh well.

Susan - March 28, 2006 3:21 PM

Thanks Gerry.

I know Dr. Fuhrman has mentioned he prefers not to roast nuts, as that alters the beneficial fats in them. Lightly pan toasting nuts and seeds or putting them for a few minutes in a toaster oven is about all they can take. I once asked him the question about nuts - for how high a temperature and how long and he said it was better to go as low a temperature as possible for a longer time.

Joel Fuhrman - March 28, 2006 11:44 PM

This is just an example of all the silly research that comes out of the world of nutritional science. Now people will interpret this to think that taking magnesium supplements will be protective against disease. A diet rich in plant material (nuts, vegetables and beans) is naturally rich in magnesium, and a diet rich in processed foods and animal products is naturally low in magnesium, but magnesium is not the chief factor that accounts for all the beneficial effects of such a diet-style. It is much more complicated. So disregard this headline, "magnesium, it does a body good," it is misleading. It should say "magnesium is one of the thousands of nutrients that a healthy diet contains."

Twyla - September 28, 2008 4:40 PM

In response to Joel Fuhrman above, for people like me, who are just learning about what vitamins and minerals do for us, this article was titled perfectly. If it had been titled anything else, my search would not have brought it up and I would have missed the information contained.

The doctor has started putting me on all kinds of vitamins and I was looking into why these certain ones instead of a multi-vitamin. With what I learned here, I now understand why she has prescribed me the mixture that she has.

Kudos to Gerald! And thanks!!

Ronnie - November 3, 2009 1:28 PM

Bet way get magnesium into the body is absorb it thru the skin.

Hilda Lodewyks - October 5, 2010 7:23 AM

Is magnesium good for replacing hormones??

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