Magnesium benefits blood pressure in people withhigh blood pressure

May 20, 2009

Supplementing with magnesium may reduce pressure in people with high blood pressure that already have normal magnesium levels. On the other hand, the supplements had no effect on the blood pressure measurements of individuals with normal blood pressure. The study adds to findings from epidemiological studies which reported that more magnesium, potassium and calcium may reduce the risk of hypertension in certain populations.

The researchers recruited 155 people to take part in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised trial. The subjects, who had an average BMI of 23 kg/m2, were randomly assigned to receive either daily supplementation with 300 mg of elemental magnesium in the magnesium oxide form or placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of the study when the researchers looked specifically at hypertensive individuals, significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed in the magnesium group (17.1 and 3.4 mmHg, respectively), compared to placebo (6.7 and 0.8 mmHg, respectively).

A recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies by researchers at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes dropped by 15%. The new study is published online ahead of print in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.