Manage Magnesium to Reduce Stroke Risk
For every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of ischemic stroke a common type of stroke decreased by 9%
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in most developed countries, but it turns out that simple lifestyle choices, such as getting some daily exercise and avoiding tobacco, can greatly lower the odds of having one. To these sensible steps, we can now add getting more dietary magnesium as another potential way to keep stroke at bay.
Measuring magnesium's impact on stroke
To study the potential connections between dietary magnesium and stroke risk, researchers used meta-analysis to combine and analyze data from seven previous observational studies on three types of stroke:
The study authors found that for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of ischemic stroke, a common type of stroke, decreased by 9%. The risk of the other stroke types--intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage--was not related to dietary magnesium levels.
The meta-analysis approach allows for larger numbers of people to be studied together, and typically, more study subjects makes for a stronger study. However, this type of study is observational, so it cannot prove cause and effect. Still, the results suggest a high-magnesium diet may protect against ischemic stroke.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your stroke risk:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:362-6)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.