Magnesium and Parkinson’s Disease

According to Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, MD, PhD heavy metal buildup can damage DNA and contribute to the development of certain diseases, like Parkinson’s. While exposure to certain metals is an unavoidable part of everyday life, insufficient levels of protective minerals, like magnesium, may play a role in degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Clinical nutritionist Krispin Sullivan points out that low levels of magnesium can contribute to heavy metal deposition in the brain, which can lead to Parkinson’s disease.

Carolyn Dean, MD., ND comments regarding July 2011 Study – Dietary intake of metals and risk of Parkinson’s disease: a case-control study in Japan :

In this large study with 40 collaborators, 249 people with Parkinson’s Disease were assessed for their mineral status. This group was compared to 368 controls without Parkinson’s.  The researchers concluded that a higher dietary intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc was independently associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease and may be protective against this condition.

Dietary Intake of Metals and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: A Case-Control Study in Japan.

J Neurol Sci. 2011 Jul 15;306(1-2):98-102. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

Miyake Y, Tanaka K, Fukushima W, Sasaki S, Kiyohara C, Tsuboi Y, Yamada T, Oeda T, Miki T, Kawamura N, Sakae N, Fukuyama H, Hirota Y, Nagai M; Fukuoka Kinki Parkinson’s Disease Study Group.
Collaborators (40)


Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Metals are involved in several important functions in the nervous system. Zinc and iron are increased and copper is decreased in the substantia nigra in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, epidemiological evidence for the association of dietary intake of metals with the risk of PD is limited. We investigated the relationship between metal consumption and the risk of PD in Japan using data from a multicenter hospital-based case-control study. Included were 249 cases within 6 years of onset of PD based on the UK PD Society Brain Bank clinical diagnostic criteria. Controls were 368 inpatients and outpatients without a neurodegenerative disease. Information on dietary factors was collected using a self-administered diet history questionnaire. Higher intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc was independently associated with a reduced risk of PD: the adjusted OR in the highest quartile was 0.24 (95% CI: 0.10-0.57, P for trend=0.0003) for iron, 0.33 (95% CI: 0.13-0.81, P for trend=0.007) for magnesium and 0.50 (95% CI: 0.26-0.95, P for trend=0.055) for zinc. There were no relationships between the intake of copper or manganese and the risk of PD. Higher intake of iron, magnesium, and zinc may be protective against PD.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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