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The Role of Magnesium in Cardiometabolic Health

The Cardiometabolic System


Cardiometabolic functions are the interrelated physiological processes that involve the cardiovascular system and metabolism.1 These functions play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health; however when they become burdened, predominantly through poor dietary and lifestyle choices, it may lead to the development of multiple chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, elevated blood pressure and hyperlipidaemia (high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood).1 When these diseases occur together, they are termed cardiometabolic disease or metabolic syndrome. This increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.1 All of these conditions can create chronic low-grade inflammation and increased systemic oxidative stress.2


Magnesium and Cardiometabolic Functions


Magnesium is essential for our body to work optimally. It is needed in every cell in our bodies and is required for over 300 biological pathways.3 Our body stores approximately 60% of our magnesium in our bones, about 40% in our muscles including our heart and 1% circulating in our blood.2 

Research has shown that a typical western-style diet is deficient in meeting the recommended daily intake requirements for magnesium.4 This highlights the need to include more magnesium-rich foods into the diet and/or the need to add in a magnesium supplement.

Inadequate magnesium intake has been associated with multiple chronic health conditions, including type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease.2,3 A deficiency state has also been linked with the increased progression of type two diabetes, cardiometabolic syndrome, and obesity.2 Obese individuals are also more likely to be deficient in magnesium when compared to those in a normal weight range.2  

Interestingly, adequate intake and supplementation with magnesium has been shown to reduce cardiometabolic risk and cardiovascular disease, specifically coronary artery disease.2 When looking at supplementing with magnesium varying dosages have been utilised in the research:

  • Daily intake of 250 mg of elemental magnesium for three months has been associated with improving glycaemic control in type two diabetic patients.2
  • Daily intake of 300 mg of elemental magnesium for one month helped to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.2
  • Daily intake of 380 mg of elemental magnesium for four months helps to improve metabolic syndrome through reducing blood pressure, hyperglycaemia, and triglyceride levels.2


Food Sources Rich in Magnesium:


  • brown rice
  • spinach and chard
  • avocados
  • almonds / peanuts and cashew nuts
  • black beans and kidney beans
  • bananas
  • dark chocolate minimum 70% cacao
  • quinoa


Lifestyle Support to Improve Cardiometabolic Health


Get moving

Regular moderate intensity physical activity of at least 40 minutes 3-4 times weekly is recommended, as it can help to control weight, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar levels.5

Stop those bad habits

Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake can also reduce the risk of developing cardiometabolic disease.6

Improve the quality of your diet

Incorporate a nutrient dense Mediterranean-style eating pattern, as it is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols and fibre which all helps to support cardiovascular health, lower triglycerides, and support blood sugar regulation.7,8 The Mediterranean-style diet is abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, oily fish, and nuts and seeds.8

Sleep yourself back to better health

Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including cardiovascular and metabolic health.9 Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type two diabetes, and heart disease.10 Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Stress release

Chronic stress has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.11 Stress can also make it harder to reduce your weight and regulate your blood sugar levels.11 Aim to figure out a stress management technique that works well for you such as meditation, yoga, journalling, or breathing exercises.

Adopting simple dietary and lifestyle changes and ensuring adequate magnesium intake may improve your cardiometabolic health. Before starting a new supplement always contact your health care provider.


References


  1. Faulkner JL, Belin de Chantemèle EJ. Sex hormones, aging and cardiometabolic syndrome. Biology of sex differences. 2019 Dec;10:1-9.
  2. Piuri G, Zocchi M, Della Porta M, Ficara V, Manoni M, Zuccotti GV, Pinotti L, Maier JA, Cazzola R. Magnesium in obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 22;13(2):320.
  3. Rodríguez-Morán M, Simental-Mendía LE, Gamboa-Gómez CI, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation and metabolic syndrome: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Advances in chronic kidney disease. 2018 May 1;25(3):261-6.
  4. Rosique-Esteban N, Guasch-Ferré M, Hernández-Alonso P, Salas-Salvadó J. Dietary magnesium and cardiovascular disease: a review with emphasis in epidemiological studies. Nutrients. 2018 Feb 1;10(2):168.
  5. Mann S, Beedie C, Jimenez A. Differential effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training and combined exercise modalities on cholesterol and the lipid profile: review, synthesis and recommendations. Sports medicine. 2014 Feb;44:211-21.
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