Study Title:

Magnesium is Needed to Reduce Inflammation

Study Abstract

Objective: Although magnesium (Mg) may favorably affect metabolic outcomes, few studies have investigated the role of Mg intake in systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in humans.

Research Design and Methods: Among 3,713 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 y in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline, we measured plasma concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor 2 (TNF-alpha-R2), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and E-selectin. Mg intake was assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

Results: After adjusting for age, ethnicity, clinical center, time of blood draw, smoking, alcohol, physical activity, energy intake, BMI, and diabetes status, Mg intake was inversely associated with hs-CRP (p-for-trend=0.003), IL-6 (p<.0001), TNF-alpha-R2 (p=0.0006), and sVCAM-1 (p=0.06). Similar findings remained after further adjustment for dietary fiber, fruit, vegetables, folate, and saturated and trans-fat intake. Multivariable-adjusted geometric means across increasing quintiles of Mg intake were 3.08, 2.63, 2.31, 2.53, 2.16 mg/L for hs-CRP (p=0.005), 2.91, 2.63, 2.45, 2.27, 2.26 pg/mL for IL-6 (p=0.0005), and 707, 681, 673, 671, 656 ng/mL for sVCAM-1 (p=0.04). An increase of 100 mg/d Mg was inversely associated with hs-CRP (-0.23 mg/L +/- 0.07; p=0.002), IL-6 (-0.14 pg/mL+/- 0.05; p=0.004), TNF-alpha-R2 (-0.04 pg/mL +/- 0.02; p=0.06), and sVCAM-1 (-0.04 ng/mL +/- 0.02; p=0.07). No significant ethnic differences were observed.

Conclusions: High Mg intake is associated with lower concentrations of certain markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in postmenopausal women.

Study Information

Chacko SA, Song Y, Nathan L, Tinker L, de Boer IH, Tylavsky F, Wallace R, Liu S.
Relations of dietary magnesium intake to biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in an ethnically diverse cohort of postmenopausal women.
Diabetes Care.
2009 November
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Full Study