lower blood pressure

A recent study investigated whether magnesium supplementation could potentially lower blood pressure in patients with preclinical or noncommunicable diseases. Essentially, researchers asked: what is the relationship between magnesium and blood pressure?

Even a moderate reduction in blood pressure can result in a decrease in the risk of stroke. Because of this, research into the effects of nutrition supplementation on blood pressure and subsequent disease progression is proving to significantly important.Researchers recently studied the relationship between magnesium and blood pressure. They investigated whether magnesium supplementation could potentially lower blood pressure in patients with preclinical or noncommunicable diseases.

Do Magnesium Supplements Lower Blood Pressure?

It has been suggested that hypertension, or high blood pressure (BP), can be reduced by taking magnesium supplementation. Some preclinical health conditions such as prediabetes and insulin resistance and noncommunicable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes are established risk factors for high blood pressure. Previous clinical studies in the general population have shown magnesium supplementation results in a modest reduction in BP. Given that even a modest reduction in BP has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, further analysis of the association between magnesium supplementation and BP would clearly be of significance to patients with preclinical or noncommunicable chronic diseases (diseases which have a long duration and typically a slow progression such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes).

As previous reviews analysing randomised controlled trials in the general population have shown inconsistent findings, Dibaba and colleagues published a meta-analysis in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which analysed the effect magnesium supplementation onBP in preclinical or noncommunicable chronic diseases.

They analysed the findings of eleven randomised controlled trials which included 543 participants. The average follow-up time for these participants was one to six months and doses of elemental magnesium received ranged from 365 to 450 mg/d. The difference between blood pressure of participants in the magnesium supplement group and control group were analysed by measuring from baseline to the end of the trial changes in systolic blood pressure (SBP; the top number blood pressure readings which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart muscle contracts) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; the bottom number referring to the blood pressure when your heart is between beats).

Significant Reduction Found

Overall, the results from the eleven trials indicated participants who received the magnesium supplementation showed a significant reduction in both SBP and DBP in individuals with pre-diabetes or other chronic diseases when compared to the control group.These findings are mostly consistent with previous trials conducted in the general population.However, previous meta-analyses combined participants with or without underlying preclinical health conditions or chronic diseases, which could be a contributing factor to differences seen in the results as participants with underlying metabolic disease may react differently to magnesium compared to those without.

The short duration of the original trials, the limited number of participants with cardiovascular diseases, and the lack of trials with patients who had cancer or renal diseases are just a few of the limitations noted by the authors of this review.

The results of this study provide evidence to support the literature and highlight the beneficial effects of magnesium supplementation on lowering blood pressure in individuals with preclinical or noncommunicable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Patients may benefit from magnesium supplementation at doses of approximately 400 mg/day.  Future large-scale and well-designed clinical trials are required to fully understand the relationship between magnesium and blood pressure and provide more concrete evidence of the benefits magnesium supplementation has on blood pressure and potentially disease outcomes in patients with preclinical or noncommunicable chronic diseases.

 

Written by Lacey Hizartzidis, PhD

Reference: Dibaba DT, Xun P, Song Y, Rosanoff A, Shechter M, He K. The effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or noncommunicable chronic diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jul 19. pii: ajcn155291. doi:10.3945/ajcn.117.155291.

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