A handful of nuts, such as almonds and cashews, daily can help boost magnesium levels. [Photo: Bigstock]

Magnesium has anti-inflammatory effects

12 June, 2017

Natural Health News — Dietary supplementation with magnesium could help reduce inflammation, according to a new analysis.

Researchers from Mexico, Iran, and Australia conducted a meta-analysis, pooling data from 11 high quality studies which looked at the effect of oral magnesium supplementation on plasma C-reactive protein (CRP).

They focused CRP because it is an established marker of inflammation. Overall results showed that in those with high levels of CRP – indicative of chronic inflammation – magnesium supplementation was associated with significant reductions in CRP.

The pooled data from this analysis showed that, while no overall effect of magnesium on CRP levels was observed, when they focused on people with elevated CRP levels (> 3 mg/dL) at the start of the RCTs, magnesium supplements were associated with a significant reduction in CRP levels over the course of the study.

Writing in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design the researchers note: “This finding suggests that magnesium supplements may have a beneficial role as an adjuvant for the management of low-grade chronic systemic inflammation.”

What you need to know

» Many people don’t get enough magnesium, even though it is necessary for hundreds of biochemical processes in the body.

» One of its roles is to help reduce inflammation – chronic levels of which are associated with diabetes, heart disease and even depression.

» In this analysis of 11 high quality studies, magnesium supplementation was associated with a significant drop in levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) – an indication of inflammation – in those who had high levels of CRP to begin with.

A vital nutrient

The results add to an ever growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of magnesium.

Many of us do not get enough magnesium and yet it is necessary for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, from helping maintain normal muscle and nerve function, to keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong. The mineral is also needed for blood sugar management, and healthy blood pressure.

Severe magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) can impede vitamin D and calcium balance in the body. Certain individuals are more susceptible to magnesium deficiency, especially those with gastrointestinal or renal disorders, those suffering from chronic alcoholism, and older people.

Adults should be aiming for 420mg (males) and 320mg (females) daily. This can be achieved through diet and or supplementation. Foods that supply close to 100 milligrams of magnesium a day, for example, include one ounce of almonds or cashews, one cup of beans or brown rice, three-quarters of a cup of cooked spinach, or one cup of cooked oat bran cereal.