Magnesium benefits: better blood sugar, insulin levels, and less severe stroke

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions that help maintain normal muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, and a healthy immune system.

Doctors analyzed 15 studies covering 53,000 non-diabetic men and women. For every 50 mg per day increase in magnesium, fasting levels of glucose and insulin were measurably lower. Doctors saw the magnesium benefits regardless of age, gender, alcohol or calorie consumption, smoking, or body weight. 

Doctors also looked at genetic differences, since earlier studies found certain variations in DNA can affect glucose, insulin, and magnesium metabolism. But researchers found the glucose and insulin benefits regardless of DNA variations, suggesting magnesium works independently of genetics.

Researchers in this study analyzed the lifestyles, heart health history, and conducted a complete physical exam on 1,493 people with acute ischemic stroke, where blood supply to part of the brain is decreased. Those with more severe stroke symptoms, or who later died from stroke, had lower blood levels of magnesium than those with less severe stroke symptoms or survivors.

Compared to those with the lowest levels, those with the highest circulating levels of magnesium were 53 percent less likely to have a severe stroke or to pass away from stroke. Researchers found that the benefits of magnesium persisted regardless of age, gender, blood levels of calcium, potassium, or any other circulating blood factors, and extended to those with better-than-average levels of magnesium.

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