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Magnesium May Help Reduce Arterial Stiffness

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and is needed for blood sugar management and healthy blood pressure. Now a new study has found that taking a magnesium citrate complex may help reduce arterial stiffness in overweight and obese adults.

Participants in the study included 52 overweight and slightly obese people with a mean age of 62. They were given either a 350 mg magnesium citrate complex supplement or a placebo daily for 24 weeks. The researchers measured carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity at the beginning of the study, at the 12-week mark, and at the conclusion of the study. They also performed 24 hour urine collections and 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure assessments at the beginning and end of the study.

No changes in magnesium serum concentrations between the two groups were found at the 12-week point. However a trend toward increased levels in the magnesium group was noted at 24 weeks. The researchers also noted that while no change in arterial stiffness was seen in either group at 12 weeks, at 24 weeks the magnesium group had a significant reduction when compared with the placebo.

Researchers from Maastricht University Medical Center, Top Institute of Food and Nutrition, and the University of Groningen — all in the Netherlands — conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 6, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Magnesium helps build bones, enables nerves to function, and is essential to the production of energy from food. Previous studies have linked magnesium to reduced incidences of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Magnesium deficiency, which tends to be especially prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease 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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