Asthma and Nutritional Magnesium

Magnesium Deficiency: A Risk Factor for Asthma?

Summary of Research By Hans R. Larsen MSc ChE –

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have concluded that a high intake of magnesium is associated with a better lung function and a reduced risk of airway hyper-reactivity and wheezing. Their study involved 2633 adults aged 18 to 70 years whose average daily magnesium intake was 380 mg as estimated via a diet questionnaire. The actual magnesium intake varied widely from 182 to 654 mg/day in men and from 160 to 527 mg/day for women. The researchers estimate that the daily steady state requirement may be as high as 420 mg/day and conclude that a substantial proportion of adults in the U.K. are deficient in their magnesium intake. They also conclude from their experiment that the lung capacity (forced expiratory volume) of participants who had a 100 mg/day higher than average intake of magnesium was significantly better than among participants with a lower intake. Participants who consumed more magnesium also reported less wheezing within the preceding 12 months and showed less reactivity when challenged with a methacholine spray. The researchers conclude that a magnesium deficiency may be implicated in the development of asthma and other chronic obstructive airways diseases.
Britton, John, et al. Dietary magnesium, lung function, wheezing, and airway hyper-reactivity in a random adult population sample. The Lancet, Vol. 344, August 6, 1994, pp. 357-62


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