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Harvard Analysis Suggests Magnesium May Have Heart Health Benefits

Between 70% and 80% of Americans are not getting the recommended amount of magnesium, an essential nutrient for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. A recent analysis from researchers at Harvard suggests that increasing magnesium intake may have significant heart health benefits, potentially lowering the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) by 22%.

The data set for this study included 16 studies with a total of 313,041 participants. The researchers found that every 0.2 mmol/L increase in circulating magnesium (magnesium already moving through the blood system) was associated with a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but not associated with any change in the risk of IHD.

The 22% lower risk of IHD was seen when dietary intake of magnesium was increased by 200 mg per day.

The study was published online ahead of print on May 29, 2013, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have found that higher intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

Eating more magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains, nuts and milk is one way to increase your magnesium intake. Taking a supplement is also a good option.

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