The mineral magnesium helps people live longer protecting them from cancer, stroke and heart attack related death

December 05, 2013

The mineral magnesium helps people live longer protecting them from cancer, stroke and heart attack related death

The PREDIMED Study examined the effects of a Mediterranean diet with the addition of either fresh nuts or fresh, high-quality olive oil on the health of people with a high risk of developing heart disease in comparison to their consuming a low fat diet. The data found the Med diet with the addition of either food strongly outperformed the low fat diet in protecting these individuals. There was also a very strong link to the amount of magnesium consumed giving a longer, healthier life.

Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of important functions in the human body. In this study of 7,216 people between the ages of 55 to 80 Spanish scientists found that people with the highest average intake of magnesium had a strong reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular related events such as heart attack or stroke, or dying from cancer compared to people with the lowest average intake.

The research findings add to the ever-growing body of science supporting the health benefits of magnesium. The National Institutes of Health lists the benefits of magnesium as helping maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeping the rhythm of the heart steady, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong. The mineral is also needed for blood sugar management and healthy blood pressure.

Crunching the numbers revealed the highest average intakes of magnesium hovering around 442mg a day was connected to a 59% reduction in dying from cardiovascular related conditions including stroke and heart attack. It also offered a robust 37% reduction in the incidence of dying from a cancer. Additionally there was a 34% reduction in all cause mortality (dying from other causes).

According to the researchers magnesium can lower blood pressure and high blood pressure is a strong risk for cardiovascular disease. Magnesium also improves blood vessel function and blood flow while decreasing vascular inflammation and a tendency for blood to improperly thicken and clot in inflamed people. As far as protecting from developing cancer the researchers explain the mineral helps govern the growth and multiplication of cells. They also explain that magnesium plays a crucial role in stabilizing our genes and the proper synthesis of DNA adding “supplemental magnesium was shown to reduce the incidence of cancer.” “Intake of magnesium was also reported to reduce insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is a potential risk factor for cancer,” they state. Their results are published currently online ahead of print in the Journal of Nutrition.