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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Magnesium in diet prevents stroke

17th January 2012

Getting a lot of magnesium from food significantly reduces people's risk of stroke, according to a recent Swedish study.


The researchers reviewed a lot of past studies and found that getting large quantities of food high in the mineral by eating a lot of greens, gave people much better cardiovascular protection against ischaemic stroke.

Lead researcher Susanna Larsson, a professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, said that magnesium-rich foods included green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains.

Despite the statistical association between magnesium and good health, the researchers did not advise simply taking magnesium supplements.

Because the study's findings are based on statistics, there is still a chance that some other aspect of the magnesium-rich food was responsible for people's decreased ischaemic stroke risk.

For the study, the researchers delved into 45 years worth of data on people's dietary habits.

They came up with seven relevant studies spanning the past 14 years, from Europe, Asia, and the USA.

The studies included research specifically designed to track the amount of magnesium-rich food people ate.

Most of the studies also included enough information about the study subjects to allow the researchers to rule out statistical interferences, such as from family history.

Of the combined total 241,378 study subjects, about 6,477 had a stroke.

But for every 100 mg of magnesium a person ate in the form of food, there was an 8% decreased risk of stroke.

Ischaemic stroke, which is usually caused by a blood clot, is the most common type of stroke.

Magnesium intake did not seem to influence a person's chance of having a brain haemorrhage, however.

Larry Goldstein, director of the stroke center at the Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study, said that dietary professionals recommended a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains.

He said that such foods also had low sodium and high potassium content, in addition to having high magnesium content, and that he personally would not pin a health effect on any given component of the diet.

The researchers only included studies in which people received magnesium from a variety of sources.

The results from the seven individual studies were combined together using a statistical model known as the 'random-effects model.'

As an element, magnesium is highly soluble in water.

Medically, compounds that include a lot of magnesium are often used to treat constipation.


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