Magnesium Intake was Associated with a Decreased Risk Of Syndrome X


Magnesium: A New Supplement for Metabolic Syndrome? – Estimated to affect over 47 million Americans, Metabolic Syndrome is characterized by risk factors that include excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen, increased blood pressure, and insulin resistance. Read the latest research showing that magnesium intake was associated with a decreased risk of Syndrome X and that the risk decreased with increased magnesium intake. Read Entire Article

05.09.06 — Magnesium: A New Supplement for Metabolic Syndrome?
By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, April 20, 2006, abstracted from “Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome Among Young Adults” in the April 4, 2006 issue of CirculationEstimated to affect over 47 million Americans, Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by a number of risk factors that include central obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen), increased blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher), and insulin resistance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar).  Because it consists of so many different symptoms, Metabolic Syndrome is also known as “Syndrome X”.1

While exercise to facilitate weight loss is one way to help prevent Syndrome X,2 new research3 has found that oxidative stress may precipitate Syndrome X and has placed a premium on increasing antioxidant intake as another preventive measure.  Now a new study4 has added an unlikely mineral to the list of preventive methods in Syndrome X: magnesium.

As a mineral needed by every cell of the human body, magnesium takes part in a number of key reactions in the body,5 plays an important role in glucose metabolism and regulating insulin levels in the body,6 and may even decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.7  In addition to helping decrease blood pressure,8 increasing magnesium intake may also lower blood triglyceride levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.9

In the study, researchers studied over 4,600 black and white men and women, aged 18 to 30 years, who participated in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study 1985-198610 and followed up with them participants 15 years later.  Dietary information was collected using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire.11  Blood samples were then taken to assess a number of risk factors associated with Syndrome X.

The researchers found that magnesium intake was associated with a decreased risk of Syndrome X and that the risk decreased with increased magnesium intake.  They found that those with the highest intake of magnesium (greater than 190 mg per 1000 calories) had a “significantly lower” (31%) risk of Syndrome X than those with the lowest intake of magnesium (96 mg per 1000 calories).  In addition, magnesium intake was associated with improvements in individual components of syndrome X that included fasting glucose level, waist circumference, fasting insulin level, and HDL cholesterol.

For the researchers, “our results provide evidence that magnesium intake is inversely associated with incident metabolic syndrome and its components in healthy young adults independent of their baseline body mass index.”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Danville, CA.  You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at or visiting his website

1         American Heart Association Website: “Metabolic Syndrome”
2         Watkins LL.  Effects of exercise and weight loss on cardiac risk factors associated with syndrome X.  Arch Intern Med. 2003 Sep 8;163(16):1889-95.
3         Furukawa, S., T. Fujita, et al. (2004). “Increased oxidative stress in obesity and its impact on metabolic syndrome.” J Clin Invest 114(12): 1752-61
4         He K.  Magnesium Intake and Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome Among Young Adults.  Circulation 2006; 113(13): 1675-1682
5         Wester PO. Magnesium. Am J Clin Nutr. 1987;45:1305–1312.
6        Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ, Galioto A, Ferlisi A, Cani C, Malfa L, Pineo A, Busardo A, Paolisso G. Role of magnesium in insulin action, diabetes and cardio-metabolic syndrome X. Mol Aspects Med. 2003;24:39–52
7         Hu FB. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care. 2004;27:134–140
8         Klag MJ. The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Am J Hypertens. 2002;15:691–696
9         Kulshretha SK. Can dietary magnesium modulate lipoprotein metabolism? Magnes Trace Elem. 1990;9:255–264
10     Savage PJ. CARDIA: study design, recruitment, and some characteristics of the examined subjects. J Clin Epidemiol. 1988;41:1105–1116
11     Havlik D. The CARDIA dietary history: development, implementation, and evaluation. J Am Diet Assoc. 1991;91:1104–1112


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