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Magnesium and Calcium Intake May Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Metabolic syndrome is an increasingly common ailment in the United States characterized by a group of risk factors that contribute to coronary artery disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. The risk factors include high blood pressure, insulin resistance, large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and high cholesterol. A recent study suggest that taking higher than the recommended dietary allowance of calcium and magnesium may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.


Participants in the study included 9,148 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study between 2001 and 2010. To measure metabolic syndrome, the researchers looked at serum triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and glucose levels.


The researchers found that women who met the US recommended dietary allowance for both magnesium (310-320 mg per day) and calcium (1000-1200 mg per day) had the lowest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.


When they examined the data for the men, they found that meeting the recommended amount for magnesium (400-420 mg per day) and calcium (1000-1200 mg per day) did not have the same effect. When the intake of magnesium increased to over 386 mg for magnesium and over 1224 mg for calcium, however, they did note a decreased risk in the men of developing metabolic syndrome.


Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 11, 2015, in the British Journal of Nutrition.


Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. 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.


Calcium is best known for its effect on bone health, but previous studies suggest it can also help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with increased longevity.


Calcium absorption decreases as we age, so it is especially important to make sure you are getting enough. Try adding more dairy products or start taking a high quality supplement if you’re trying to increase your calcium intake.

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