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Magnesium Consumption Linked With Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer

A British analysis suggests that eating more foods rich in magnesium - such as green leafy vegetables, grains, nuts, and milk - may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 12%.

One of the studies the researchers examined included 1,477 participants, 768 of whom consumed magnesium and 709 controls. They found that increasing magnesium intake by 100 mg was associated with a 19% reduced risk of developing benign colorectal tumors. However, the correlation only appeared in overweight people older than 55.

The researchers also conducted a meta-analysis of studies examining the effect of magnesium on colorectal cancer and found that 100 mg increases of magnesium were associated with a 13% reduced risk of benign tumors and a 12% reduced risk in developing colorectal cancer.

There are a limited number of studies on the effects of magnesium on colorectal cancer, so the researchers here caution that more investigation is needed in order to determine the exact mechanism and association between the two.

The study was conducted by researchers at Imperial College London and Wageningen University. There results were published online ahead of print August 1, 2012, in the American Journal of Nutrition.

These findings add to the quickly growing body of scientific evidence highlighting the benefits of magnesium. 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 like green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains, nuts and milk is one way to increase your magnesium intake. Taking a supplement is also a safe, easy option.

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