Magnesium Intake Reduces Incidence of Stroke

Magnesium Intake Reduces Incidence of Stroke—Major Analysis of Studies Confirms.

Los Angeles, CA, February 9th, 2012 — An analysis of seven studies including 241,378 participants and 6,477 cases of stroke was recently conducted by the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology at the National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and published in the Feb, 2012 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled “Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.” 1

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis which is a type of study that involves taking the data from previous similar studies and combining them. This analysis found that for every 100 mg increase in magnesium intake, risk of ischemic stroke (these are the strokes caused by blood clots in the brain) was reduced by 8%. Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel, a partial or total blockage of an artery supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 88 percent of all stroke cases and according to the Internet Stroke Center, stroke is the third highest cause of death in the United States.

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD. ND, magnesium expert and medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association at says “A burst or clot-blocked blood vessel in the brain is all it takes to cause a stroke which results in the destruction of critical brain functions. Stroke is said to be caused by hypertension, atheriosclerosis and/or diabetic complications all of which are associated with magnesium deficiency.

In an earlier stroke study conducted in Taiwan, Taiwanese stroke cases (17,133 cases in total) from 1989 through 1993 were compared with deaths from other causes (17,133 controls). It was determined that the higher the magnesium levels in the drinking water used by Taiwan residents, the lower the incidence of stroke. 2

According to Dr. Dean, magnesium deficiency has become common and dietary levels of magnesium from both food and water sources have gradually declined in the United States, from a high of 500 mg a day in 1900 to barely 175–225 mg a day today. The National Academy of Sciences has found that most American men consume only about 80 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium and women average only 70 percent. 3

Hypertension and Magnesium

Since hypertension is one of the risk factors for stroke, does magnesium also lower the risk factor for high blood pressure? In a Harvard study, doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health determined the relationship between diet and hypertension (high blood pressure). The study involved over 30,000 male health professionals 40 to 75 years old.

During four years of follow-up, 1,248 of the men developed hypertension. An analysis showed that participants consuming less than 250 mg per day of magnesium had a 50% greater chance of developing hypertension than had men who consumed 400 mg per day or more. 4

Diabetes and Magnesium

Another risk factor for stroke includes diabetic complications. Can magnesium reduce the incidence of diabetes?

In an April 2009 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute reported that for every 100 milligrams increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 percent.

Noting that magnesium plays an important role in the secretion and function of insulin, Dr. Dean says, “Without magnesium, diabetes is inevitable. Measurable magnesium deficiency is common in diabetes and in many of its complications, including heart disease, eye damage, high blood pressure, and obesity. When the treatment of diabetes includes magnesium, these problems are prevented or minimized.

The National Institutes of Health says, “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.”

Stroke has devastated the lives of 4.6 million Americans and 15 million people worldwide. Each year about 700,000 new strokes occur, along with 100,000 recurrences and statisticians say that the incidence of stroke is on the rise. Keeping bllos vessels strong, preventing blood from clotting inappropriately and even healing stroke damaged areas of the brain are all within the scope of the  miracle of magnesium.

A free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium written by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, is available as a free download at

Contact: Boris Levitsky – info (at) nutritionalmagnesium(dot)org

1. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb;95(2):362-6

2. Yang CY, “Calcium and magnesium in drinking water and risk of death from cerebrovascular disease.” Stroke, vol 18, no. 8, pp.411-414, 1998

3. Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1997

4. Ascherio, Alberto, et al. A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among U.S. men. Circulation, Vol. 86, No. 5, November 1992, pp. 1475-84

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