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Health News Archive 563 - Muscle Function
<<back to structure/function index


Low Magnesium Associated with Loss of Muscle Mass

In the August 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers report on their study to determine whether loss of magnesium may contribute to loss of muscle mass in older people. Muscle strength testing and function were evaluated in over 1,100 men and women with an average age of 67.

Researchers found there was a very strong relationship between magnesium levels and muscle function after adjusting for other factors. They reported that individuals with higher magnesium levels generally had a stronger hand grip, more power in their legs and were able to extend their knees and ankles with more force.

Dr. Dominguez, who headed up the study, reported that 68% of adults get less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium and that older people and those with chronic disease are at particularly high risk of magnesium deficiency. There are hundreds of studies proving adequate magnesium is essential for healthy cell function of the heart, brain, muscles and nerves. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pistachios are a great source of magnesium, and potassium, as are magnesium supplements.

Source: Dominguez, LJ; Barbagallo, M.; Lauretani, F.; et al. Magnesium and muscle performance in older persons: the InCHIANTI study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Aug;84(2):419-26.

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