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Oct 10, 2012 by APRIL McCARTHY
New Analysis of Over 300,000 People Shows Magnesium Reduces Colon Cancer Risk


Increased intakes of magnesium may reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, says a new meta-analysis of data from 338,979 people.


Findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that for every 50 mg per day increase in intake of the mineral, the risk of colon cancer was modestly reduced by 7%.

"On the basis of the findings of this meta-analysis, a higher magnesium intake seems to be associated with a modest reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, in particular, colon cancer," wrote researchers from Soochow University in China.

Diet

Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys show that a large portion of adults does not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

Recently, scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden reported that, data pooled from seven prospective studies revealed that, for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of stroke was reduced by about 9% (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

In addition, a meta-analysis by scientists from Imperial College London and Wageningen University indicated that for every 100 milligram increase in intake of the mineral, the risk of colorectal cancer decreased by 12% (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.030924).

Study details

For the new study, the Chinese researchers analyzed data from eight prospective studies containing 338,979 participants. Data was available for 8,000 cases of colorectal cancer.

Results indicated that the highest average intakes of magnesium were associated with an 11% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, compared with the lowest average intakes.

When the analysis was restricted to the six studies that adjusted for calcium intake, the results showed that the risks of colon and rectal cancer were 19% and 6% lower, respectively, for the highest average magnesium intakes.

The researchers said that they did not detect any publication bias.

Magnesium Deficiency

A magnesium mineral deficiency may cause the following symptoms:

* Nervous anxiety
* Depression
* Constipation
* High blood pressure
* Sleeplessness
* Muscle weakness, cramps and spasms (this one is a definite sign of magnesium deficiency, possibly even calcium)
* Premenstrual Syndrome
* Hearth rhythm irregularities/ angina
* Cravings for chocolate and caffeine (which also causes the body to lose more magnesium)
* Back pain
* Headaches, cluster headaches, migraines
* Stiff and aching muscles
* Bones and joints that need continued chiropractic treatment
* Hypoglycaemia
* Diabetes
* Nervousness
* Hyperactivity
* Osteoporosis
* Kidney stones
* Attention deficit disorder [ADD]
* Adrenal exhaustion/chronic fatigue syndrome
* Exhaustion from exercise

How to Take It:

It is a good idea to take a B vitamin complex, or a multivitamin containing B vitamins while taking magnesium because the level of vitamin B6 in the body determines how much magnesium will be absorbed into the cells.

Dosages below are based on the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) issued from the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Government's Office of Dietary Supplements, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Pediatric

Do not give magnesium supplements to a child without a doctor' s supervision.

  • Children 1 - 3 years of age: 40 - 80 mg daily
  • Children 4 - 8 years of age: 130 mg daily
  • Children 9 - 13 years of age: 240 mg daily
  • Males 14 - 18 years of age: 410 mg daily
  • Females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily
  • Pregnant females 14 - 18 years of age: 400 mg daily
  • Breastfeeding females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily


Adult

  • Males 19 - 30 years of age: 400 mg daily
  • Females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
  • Males 31 years of age and over: 420 mg daily
  • Females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
  • Pregnant females 19 - 30 years of age: 350 mg daily
  • Pregnant females 31 and over: 360 mg daily
  • Breastfeeding females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
  • Breastfeeding females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily


April McCarthy
is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

Source:
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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