A simple mineral, magnesium plays an important role in keeping blood pressure down, muscles toned and the cardiovascular system humming smoothly. A study was recently conducted (abstract below) that looked at death rates in a Japanese population. Just looking at how much people got in their diet, they found that those with the highest intake of magnesium had around half the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or stroke among both men and women.
Magnesium sources include wheat bran, spinach, greens, almonds, cashews among others. Click on this sentence for a report from the National Institutes of Health.
“Associations of dietary magnesium intake with mortality from cardiovascular disease: the JACC study,” Zhang W, Iso H, et al, Atherosclerosis, 2012 April, 221(2): 587-95.
Summary: In a study involving data collected from 58,615 Japanese adults between the ages of 40 and 79 years, dietary magnesium intake was found to be associated with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease, particularly in women. Subjects were followed up with for a median 14.7 years, during which 2,690 deaths from CVD (1,227 from strokes and 557 from CHD) were documented. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factor and sodium intake, the multivariable HR for highest vs. lowest quintiles of magnesium intake were 0.49 for hemorrhagic stroke in men, 0.68 for total stroke, 0.47 for ischemic stroke, 0.50 for CHD, 0.50 for heart failure, and 0.64 for total CVD in women. The authors state, “Dietary magnesium intake was inversely associated with mortality from hemorrhagic stroke in men and with mortality from total and ischemic strokes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and total cardiovascular disease in women.”