Can Magnesium Reduce Arterial Stiffness?
Title: Long-term magnesium supplementation improves arterial stiffness in overweight and obese adults: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial
Author: Joris et al
Journal: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Objective: To evaluate the effects of long-term magnesium supplementation on arterial stiffness.
Health Benefits of Magnesium: https://youtu.be/a3rYf302Sfc
Top 10 Dietary Sources of Magnesium: https://youtu.be/ZDuRJiVZn8E
Arterial stiffness is a term that describes the hardening of arteries in your body. Stiffened arteries are associated with arterio- and atherosclerosis as well, a term that describes narrowing of the arteries. These processes are not benign and are associated with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Heart attacks (and heart disease in general) are the number one killer of folks in the United States annually with estimates of 600-700k heart attacks per year. It is estimated that as many as 17 million people die from heart disease globally each year.
Strokes are a little farther down the list, coming in as the fifth killer of Americans with 130,000 deaths annually. However, 800,000 Americans have strokes every year which can be very disabling but not fatal. It is estimated that 15 million people have strokes around the globe annually.
To a certain extent, this process of arterial stiffening occurs naturally as we age, but like most things that happen in our body, it’s heavily influenced by lifestyle factors. Examples include weight loss and dietary change. The authors of this study wanted to know if supplementing magnesium would reduce arterial stiffness.
They 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 x 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.
They assessed arterial stiffness with carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWVc-f) was at baseline, week 12, and at week 24.
They found it took roughly 24 weeks to increase your serum magnesium with their supplementation compared to placebo. (95% CI: 0.00, 0.04 mmol/L; P = 0.09).
Unsurprisingly, arterial stiffness was not changed after week 12 but was improved in the magnesium group compared with the placebo group after week 24. (95% CI: 0.4, 1.6 m/s; P = 0.001).
No changes in blood pressure levels were noted.
What this study suggests is that magnesium supplementation over 24 weeks does decrease arterial stiffness.
This suggests at least one potential mechanism by which magnesium can improve cardiovascular health, reducing our risk of heart attack and stroke.
Joris, P. J., Plat, J., & Bakker, S. J. (2016). Long-term magnesium supplementation improves arterial stiffness in overweight and obese adults: Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(5), 1260-1266. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.131466