A new study published in Neurology, shows people with either low or high blood levels of Magnesium may have a higher risk of developing dementia.
Approximately 9,500 individuals participated in this prospective study. Participants with an average age of 65 who did not have dementia were followed for an average of 8 years. Serum Magnesium levels were measured at the start of the study. Results were adjusted for variables like alcohol intake, body mass index, smoking status and kidney function, which may affect dementia risks and Magnesium levels. Participants were divided into quintiles based on their serum Magnesium levels.
During this follow up period, over 800 individuals developed dementia. Over 650 of these individuals were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The incidence of dementia was found to be 30% higher in both the lowest blood Magnesium groups and the highest blood Magnesium groups. Since this was an observational study only, no causality could be determined from the study outcomes.
There was however a few limitations on the way the study was set up. First, Magnesium levels were only taken at the onset of the study, so changes in these blood levels may have occurred during the follow up period. Second, blood levels of Magnesium may not be a reliable measure of total body Magnesium, meaning a person can have a normal serum Magnesium level and still have a Magnesium deficiency. These limitations confirm that further research is needed.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists Magnesium as being involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, such as helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, keeping our bones strong as well as supporting a healthier immune response. This important mineral is also necessary for supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management. 70% – 80% of the population in the United States is not achieving the recommended intakes of daily Magnesium.
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