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Health News Archive 599 - Inflammation
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Magnesium Linked with Lower Inflammation and Endothelial Dysfunction

The April 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the finding of researchers at Harvard University. Researchers found that having a greater intake of magnesium is associated with lower levels of some markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in healthy women. The two conditions often precede atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes, and are involved in the metabolic syndrome. Magnesium intake has been associated by some studies with a decrease in metabolic syndrome features.

Y. Song of Harvard Medical School and colleagues included 657 participants in the Nurses' Health Study for the current investigation. Blood samples drawn between 1989 and 1990 were analyzed for inflammatory markers C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor 2, and endothelial biomarkers E-selectin, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1. Dietary questionnaires completed by the subjects in 1986 and 1990 were averaged to provide the dietary intake of magnesium and other nutrients.

After adjusted analyses, higher intake levels of magnesium were associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein and E-selectin. The authors write that the direct effect of magnesium on glucose and insulin homeostasis may be responsible for the associations, however they suggest that, alternatively, magnesium may modulate systemic inflammation and endothelial function to influence insulin resistance, explaining that there is increasing evidence implicating the two conditions as its antecedents.

"These observed associations, albeit generally modest, may represent a pathophysiologic mechanism for the pleiotropic effects of magnesium intake on the features of the metabolic syndrome and its associated chronic diseases," the authors conclude.

BACKGROUND: Relations between magnesium intake and systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are not well established. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to examine whether and to what extent magnesium intake is related to inflammatory and endothelial markers. DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 657 women from the Nurses' Health Study cohort who were aged 43-69 y and free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus when blood was drawn in 1989 and 1990. Plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), soluble tumor necrosis factor alpha receptor 2 (sTNF-R2), E-selectin, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1) were measured. Estimates from 2 semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires, administered in 1986 and 1990, were averaged to assess dietary intakes. RESULTS: In age-adjusted linear regression analyses, magnesium intake was inversely associated with plasma concentrations of CRP (P for linear trend = 0.003), E-selectin (P = 0.001), and sICAM-1 (P = 0.03). After further adjustment for physical activity, smoking status, alcohol use, postmenopausal hormone use, and body mass index, dietary magnesium intake remained inversely associated with CRP and E-selectin. Multivariate-adjusted geometric means for women in the highest quintile of dietary magnesium intake were 24% lower for CRP (1.70 +/- 0.18 compared with 1.30 +/- 0.10 mg/dL; P for trend = 0.03) and 14% lower for E-selectin (48.5 +/- 1.84 compared with 41.9 +/- 1.58 ng/mL; P for trend = 0.01) than those for women in the lowest quintile. CONCLUSION: Magnesium intake from diet is modestly and inversely associated with some but not all markers of systematic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in apparently healthy women.

Source: Song Y, Li TY, van Dam RM, Manson JE, Hu FB. Magnesium intake and plasma concentrations of markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):1068-74.

Reprinted with exclusive permission of LEF - Apr, 2007.

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