Article

Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: Are the health consequences underestimated?

Center for Magnesium Education & Research, 13-1255 Malama Street, Pahoa, HI 96778, USA.
Nutrition Reviews (Impact Factor: 6.08). 03/2012; 70(3):153-64. DOI: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

In comparison with calcium, magnesium is an "orphan nutrient" that has been studied considerably less heavily. Low magnesium intakes and blood levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated C-reactive protein, hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer. Almost half (48%) of the US population consumed less than the required amount of magnesium from food in 2005-2006, and the figure was down from 56% in 2001-2002. Surveys conducted over 30 years indicate rising calcium-to-magnesium food-intake ratios among adults and the elderly in the United States, excluding intake from supplements, which favor calcium over magnesium. The prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes in the United States increased sharply between 1994 and 2001 as the ratio of calcium-to-magnesium intake from food rose from <3.0 to >3.0. Dietary Reference Intakes determined by balance studies may be misleading if subjects have chronic latent magnesium deficiency but are assumed to be healthy. Cellular magnesium deficit, perhaps involving TRPM6/7 channels, elicits calcium-activated inflammatory cascades independent of injury or pathogens. Refining the magnesium requirements and understanding how low magnesium status and rising calcium-to-magnesium ratios influence the incidence of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and other inflammation-related disorders are research priorities.

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    • "On the other hand, the Mg contents in seeds declined significantly after 1968232425parallel to the 'Green Revolution' and the history of the heavy chemical fertilization in agriculture[20,21]. Consequently, most people absorbed lower Mg than standard indexes from the cereals[14,16,19,20]. Therefore, the MGD in plants is an urgent realistic problem, and some questions must be illuminated in the coming years: (1) Which transporters are mainly responsible for Mg 2+ transport from rhizosphere to root cells? "
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    ABSTRACT: Although magnesium (Mg) is one of the most important nutrients, involving mainly in many enzyme activities and the structure stabilization of tissues, it was recognized as a forgotten macronutrient ion by botanists and agriculturists in the last decades, because that they did not regard Mg deficiency (MGD) in plants as a severe problem to our health. However, recent studies surprisingly showed that Mg contents in historical cereal seeds significantly declined with time, and 2/3 people surveyed in developed countries could not uptake enough Mg daily. Therefore, the response mechanisms to the MGD and how to increase Mg contents in plants may be two urgent realistic problems. In this review, we discussed several aspects of the MGD in plants, including the phenotypic and physiological changes, the Mg2+ homeostasis in cells controlled by Mg2+ transporters, the signaling of the MGD, the interactions between Mg2+ and other ions, and Mg’s roles in plant second metabolisms. We hope that these will improve us to understand the effluence of the MGD on plant growth and development, and will help crop breeding for Mg enrichment.
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    • "While increasing grain yields have provided a 35 % rise in per capita calories (joules) per day for the world human population (Welch 2002), increasing wheat yields of the past 40 years have come with decreasing concentrations of magnesium (Mg) (Murphy et al. 2008; Fan et al. 2008; Ficco et al. 2009). Low nutritional Mg status has been associated with the NCDs targeted by the World Health Organization (Rosanoff 2012; Seelig 1980). Magnesium is also related to the NCD risk factors so closely watched by medicine and public health organizations, e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Decreasing mineral concentrations in high-yield grains of the Green Revolution have coincided in time with rising global cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates. Given the Magnesium (Mg) Hypothesis of CVD, it’s important to assess any changes in food crop Mg concentrations over the past 50+ years. Methods: Using current and historical published sources, Mg concentrations in “old” and “new” wheats, fruits and vegetables were listed/calculated (dry weight basis) and applied to reports of USA’s historic Mg supply, 1900–2006. Resulting trend in USA Mg supply was compared with USA trend in CVD mortality. Human Mg intake studies, old and new, were compared with the range of reported human Mg requirements. Results: Acknowledging assessment difficulties, since the 1850s, wheats have declined in Mg concentration 7–29%; USA and English vegetables’ Mg declined 15–23%, 1930s to 1980s. The nadir of USA food Mg supply in 1968 coincides with the USA peak in CVD mortality. As humans transition from “traditional” to modern processed food diets, Mg intake declines. Conclusions: Rising global CVD mortality may be linked to lower Mg intakes as world populations transition from traditional high Mg foods to those low in Mg due to declining crop Mg and processing losses.
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