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An astounding 70% or more of Americans are deficient in the essential mineral magnesium. Low levels can have deadly effects
Epidemiologic studies have suggested that low magnesium may be associated with higher rates of colorectal cancer among other diseases. Now a meta-analysis confirms that higher magnesium intakes are associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and especially colon cancer.
Researchers from Soochow University in China analyzed eight prospective studies covering 338,979 participants. Their results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found the highest average intake of magnesium was associated with an 11% reduction in colorectal cancer risk compared to the lowest average intake.
In addition, the researchers found that for every 50 mg per day increase in magnesium, colon cancer was reduced by 7%.
The results are consistent with an earlier meta-analysis by Imperial College London and Wageningen University finding for every 100 mg increase in magnesium, colorectal cancer decreased by 13%.
Unfortunately, only about 20% of Americans get the recommended daily magnesium intake of 420 mg for men or 320 mg for women. And a deficiency can be debilitating.
Magnesium participates in over 300 known biochemical reactions in your body. Recent research from the human genome project reveals that 3,751 human proteins have binding sites for magnesium.
Magnesium supports harmonious flow within various body systems. Without it things get stuck. This can show up as constipation and other digestive problems, irregularities in menstrual flow and reproductive health, muscle spasms, nocturnal leg cramps, and migraine headaches.
The health benefits of magnesium are far greater than previously imagined. This one essential mineral keeps your heart rhythm steady...promotes normal blood pressure...helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function...supports a healthy immune system...regulates blood sugar...and keeps your memory strong.
It's not difficult to boost magnesium levels with whole foods. One of the richest sources of magnesium is high quality chocolate. Dark chocolate has a whopping 176 mg of magnesium in a 3.5 ounce bar. In fact, if you crave chocolate your body may be telling you it's low in magnesium.
Other high magnesium foods include:
- Dried seaweeds
- Dark leafy greens (especially spinach and Swiss chard)
- Whole grains (especially brown rice and quinoa)
- Almonds, cashews, and filberts
- Sesame seeds
- Spirulina and chlorella
Visit GreenMedInfo's page on magnesium documenting well over 100 health benefits of magnesium.
Originally published: 2014-04-06
Article Updated: 2019-10-31