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How are magnesium levels linked to coronary artery diseases?

A recent study in BMC Medicine demonstrated new findings of the correlation between serum magnesium levels and coronary artery diseases.

Magnesium plays a critical role in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. It is also involved in glucose and insulin metabolism and has significant impacts on one of the most important sources of energy in the body. Experimental studies have shown that magnesium deficiencies might result in adverse cardiovascular effects, of which atherosclerosis has the most important impact.

Although there are a limited number of clinical trials studying the effect of magnesium supplements on cardiovascular health, they have shown that consuming magnesium supplements can promote cardiovascular health in different ways including lowering blood pressure and fasting glucose and improving vascular stiffness and insulin resistance.

Despite having these effects, it is not clear if these associations are a causal relationship or are due to other cardioprotective factors. A recent Mendelian randomisation study investigated whether serum magnesium levels are causally associated with coronary artery disease or not. The results are published in the BMC Medicine.

 This Mendelian randomisation analysis used data from a meta-analysis of 48 studies with a total of 60,801 coronary artery diseases cases and 123,504 non-cases. Scientists used six single-nucleotide genomes which determines the serum magnesium levels as variable.

Based on the results, they found that a genetic predisposition of higher serum magnesium levels is associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular events. For future studies, they suggest randomized clinical trials should evaluate the role of magnesium supplements on cardiovascular events, especially in cases of very low magnesium levels.

Written by Nima Makhdami, M.D.

Reference: Larsson, S. C., Burgess, S., & Michaëlsson, K. (2018). Serum magnesium levels and risk of coronary artery disease: Mendelian randomisation study. BMC Medicine16(1), 68.

Nima Makhdami
Nima Makhdami
Nima has experience as an emergency room physician and clinical research associate. He also has experience in medical literature, clinical data analysis and was a member of a research team for several published articles. He is working on several clinical research projects at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Western University. Writing for Medical News Bulletin has allowed Nima to follow his passion for medical writing. He is also passionate about internal medicine and hopes to continue his education in internal medicine residency in the near future. He enjoys playing piano and abstract painting.
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