Dietary Magnesium Reduces Strokes

strokes and magnesium

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Researchers from Sweden’s National Institute of Environmental Medicine have found that eating foods rich in dietary magnesium reduces the risk of stroke. The researchers analyzed human clinical studies from 1966 through 2011 that associated dietary magnesium consumption with stroke incidence.

A total of seven studies provided the most relevant and conclusive evidence. These seven studies followed a total of 250,000 people within the U.S. for an average of eleven and a half years. Of this population, there were 6,477 stroke victims.

The research analysis revealed conclusively that eating magnesium-rich foods reduced the incidence of stroke. Eating the equivalent of 100 milligrams more of magnesium per day within foods reduced stroke incidence by 8%.

While the reduced risk was characterized by the researchers as “modest,” over a broad range of studies, a consistently positive association is considered more conclusive and “statistically significant.” The data revealed an even more significant reduction in ischemic stroke with higher magnesium intake.

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

USDA recommendations for magnesium consumption are 420 milligrams for men over 31 years old, and 320 for women over 31 years old. The study showed that U.S. adults eat the equivalent of about 242 milligrams per day of magnesium on average.

Dr. Susanna Larsson, a professor at the Swedish Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the lead researcher in the study, told Reuters Health that the results suggest people eat a diet of “magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains.”

She was reluctant to suggest that people take magnesium supplements, simply because the study followed the effects of magnesium content in foods, rather than supplemental magnesium.

Magnesium and other minerals such as calcium have been found to sometimes not be absorbed as well in supplement form as from foods – depending, of course, on the form of the supplement.

Learn more about a nutrient-dense foods (and support this free research service).


Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of stroke: a
meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec 28.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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