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Dietary Magnesium Intake’s Role in Decreasing Metabolic Syndrome

The overall risk of metabolic syndrome decreased with every 100 mg per day increment in magnesium intake….

Previous studies have shown conflicting accounts of how beneficial dietary magnesium intake is in decreasing the risk of metabolic syndrome.

The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the association between metabolic syndrome risk and dietary magnesium intake using previously published cross-sectional studies. Data from 24,273 subjects was obtained from six cross-sectional studies, and 6,311 cases of metabolic syndrome were identified from the studies. A random-effects model was used to determine the association between metabolic syndrome and magnesium intake by comparing whether participants were in the highest or lowest magnesium intake group. A pooled odds ratio was also used for linear trend in assessing the dose-dependent relationship in 100 mg per day magnesium increments. Adjustments were made for age, gender, physical activity, carbohydrate and alcohol intake, smoking status and dietary fiber intake due to potential confounding effects.

When comparing the highest dietary magnesium intake group to the lowest, an inverse association was observed between metabolic syndrome prevalence and dietary magnesium intake (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.59-0.81). The dose dependent relationship found the overall risk of metabolic syndrome lowered with every 100 mg per day increment in magnesium intake (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.77-0.89).

The results of this study showed that there is an inverse association between dietary magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome prevalence. Those with a lower magnesium intake have a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. A low dietary intake of magnesium could be a potential risk factor for the disorder but further research is needed to determine any causal relationship. A randomized-controlled trial should be performed to determine if a causal relationship can be established.

Practice Pearls:

  • Magnesium is needed in several biological processes, including the metabolism of insulin and glucose.
  • An inverse association was seen between dietary magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome prevalence.
  • Overall risk of metabolic syndrome was decreased as daily dietary magnesium consumption was increased, however, this does not prove a causal relationship.

Dibaba DT, Xun P, Fly AD, Yokota K and He K. Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Diabetic Medicine. November 2014.