This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dietary magnesium protects against stroke

High levels of magnesium in the diet may protect men against ischaemic stroke, a 13-year Finnish study reports.

More than 26,000 50-69 year old male smokers took part in the study, in which researchers examined the relationship of dietary magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium intake with risk of stroke. They recorded 2,700 ischaemic strokes during follow-up.

Men who took an average of 575mg of magnesium a day were 15% less likely to suffer a stroke than those who consumed less than 382mg per day – a finding independent of the number of cigarettes smoked per day, lipid profiles and medical history.

The authors say the biologic mechanism explaining this relationship is unclear but the data suggest a high consumption of magnesium-rich foods, such as whole-grain cereals, may play a role in the prevention of cerebral infarction.

But whether magnesium supplementation lowers the risk of cerebral infarction needs to be assessed in large, long-term randomized trials

Arch Intern Med 2008;165:459-65

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say