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Magnesium Protects Against Stroke, Heart Disease and Diabetes

By Dr. Mercola

If you’re looking for a way to decrease your risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, new research has revealed profound results from starting a simple new habit: consuming an extra 100 milligrams (mg) of magnesium via your food on a daily basis.

Researchers at Zhejiang University and Zhengzhou University in China found that more than 1 million people across nine countries who consumed the most magnesium tested out with a 10 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 12 percent lower stroke risk and a 26 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Regarding the new research, which was published in Biomed Central,1 lead study author Fudi Wang, Ph.D., explains:

“Low levels of magnesium in the body have been associated with a range of diseases, but no conclusive evidence has been put forward on the link between dietary magnesium and health risks.

Our meta-analysis provides the most up-to-date evidence supporting a link between the role of magnesium in food and reducing the risk of disease ... Our findings will be important for informing the public and policy makers on dietary guidelines to reduce magnesium deficiency-related health risks.”2

Wang said in a Medical Xpress news release3 that although current guidelines recommend that men take about 300 mg of magnesium a day, and women 270 mg per day, deficiencies in this mineral are still common, affecting anywhere between 1.5 percent to 15 percent of the population.

The researchers hope this new information serves to not just encourage people to make sure they’re getting adequate magnesium, but to prompt policy makers to change dietary guidelines, which could diminish the number of magnesium deficiency-related diseases.

Heart Issues Linked to Low Magnesium, but Science Takes a ‘Wrong Turn’

Magnesium is the fourth-most abundant mineral in your body, and more than 300 enzymes rely on it to carry out normal muscle and nerve function related to energy, relaxed blood vessels, good teeth and bone formation and the regulation of insulin and blood sugar levels.8

Magnesium helps your body detox from toxins and helps synthesize glutathione. It also plays a vital role in your body’s mitochondrial performance, and in improving your energy level. One very positive aspect of this mineral is that when your body has taken in the optimal amount, it simply flushes the rest away.

Dean, in her book “The Magnesium Miracle,” recommends taking 200 mg per day, but parsed out in two or three doses, as it can have a laxative effect. Other scientists recommend taking almost twice that amount, but age and sex are factors to consider. Foods containing magnesium include:


Collard greens

Swiss chard

Turnip greens

Beet greens


Brussels sprouts


Bok choy

Romaine lettuce

Raw cacao


Nuts and seeds

Fruits and berries


Fatty fish (wild-caught Alaskan salmon), seeds, including pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, nuts, including cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts, and herbs and spices, including chives, coriander, cumin, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel, basil and cloves, also contain high amounts of magnesium, so as you can see, it’s easy to include it in your diet.

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