Magnesium and Cholesterol
By A. Rosanoff, Ph.D.
BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that magnesium intake may be inversely related to risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus and that higher intake of magnesium may decrease blood triglycerides and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. However, the longitudinal association of magnesium intake and incidence of metabolic syndrome has not been investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively examined the relations between magnesium intake and incident metabolic syndrome and its components among 4637 Americans, aged 18 to 30 years, who were free from metabolic syndrome and diabetes at baseline. Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program/Adult Treatment Panel III definition. Diet was assessed by an interviewer-administered quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and magnesium intake was derived from the nutrient database developed by the Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center. During the 15 years of follow-up, 608 incident cases of the metabolic syndrome were identified. Magnesium intake was inversely associated with incidence of metabolic syndrome after adjustment for major lifestyle and dietary variables and baseline status of each component of the metabolic syndrome. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of magnesium intake, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of metabolic syndrome for participants in the highest quartile was 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 0.91; P for trend <0.01). The inverse associations were not materially modified by gender and race. Magnesium intake was also inversely related to individual component of the metabolic syndrome and fasting insulin levels. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that young adults with higher magnesium intake have lower risk of development of metabolic syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=16567569
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 47 patients with ischemic heart disease and acute myocardial infarction were allocated to 3 months’ treatment with peroral magnesium (15 mmol/d) or placebo. Before, during, and after treatment, blood samples were taken to determine serum concentrations of cholesterol; triglyceride; high-density, low-density, and very-low-density lipoprotein; apolipoprotein A1 and B; and magnesium. We found a 13% increase in molar ratio of apolipoprotein A1:apolipoprotein B after magnesium treatment, as compared with a 2% increase in the placebo group (for mean differences between changes of the magnesium and the placebo groups). This increase was caused by a decrease in apolipoprotein B concentrations, which were reduced by 15% from 1.44 to 1.23 mmol/L in the magnesium group as compared with a slight increase in the placebo group. Triglyceride, and thereby very-low-density lipoprotein concentrations decreased by 27% after magnesium treatment (from 2.41 to 1.76 mmol/L, and from 1.1 to 0.79 mmol/L, respectively) as compared with much smaller decrements in the placebo group. Likewise, we found tendencies toward an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio/(low-density lipoprotein cholesterol:very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) after magnesium treatment. The observed findings support the hypothesis that magnesium deficiency might be involved in the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease by altering the blood lipid composition in a way that disposes to atherosclerosis.