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A clinical trial on the consumption of bioavailable magnesium

was conducted at the prestigious St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

The clinical trial showed that when bioavailable magnesium is consumed in water there is:

a significant increase in serum magnesium

significant stabilisation of serum parathyroid hormone

a significant increase in serum potassium

a significant correlation between magnesium and albumin

a subjective improvement in skin quality and energy

Serum Magnesium

With all waters consumed, there was a statistically significant increase in the mean level of serum magnesium between the beginning of the clinical trial and the end of the clinical trial 12 weeks later (0.0002 mmol/L/day; p < 0.0148).  This significant increase in serum magnesium occurred even though many waters consumed were devoid of magnesium.

 

After 12 weeks, the difference in serum magnesium concentrations between drinking water devoid of magnesium and drinking water with added magnesium was significant (p = 0.027).  That is, water with added magnesium was found to be a source of systemically available (bioavailable) magnesium that significantly increased serum magnesium concentrations above the increase caused by improved hydration per se.

 

Technically, when data from all time points were analysed using a repeated measures analysis of variance there was a statistically significant difference in serum magnesium between consumption of water with added magnesium and consumption of water devoid of magnesium (p = 0.015). Additional statistics for analyses of change showed that the mean level of serum magnesium across days 14, 42 and 84 was higher, after adjusting for baseline levels, when water was consumed that contained magnesium (p = 0.0070).

 

Even though many waters consumed were devoid of magnesium, there were statistically significant correlations between the change in serum magnesium and the change in several serum biomarkers across days 14, 42 and 84.  In particular, the correlation between the change in serum magnesium and the change in serum albumin was consistent and positive and statistically significant (p < 0.05).  In waters devoid of magnesium there was a statistically significant correlation between the change in serum parathyroid hormone concentration and the change in systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05).  Serum parathyroid hormone concentrations increased and systolic blood pressure increased when water was consumed without magnesium.

 

According to the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, magnesium is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and the major antioxidant glutathione. The NIH states also that magnesium is a cofactor for more than 300 cell enzyme systems in the body that regulate protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation.  Magnesium is vital to nerve conduction, muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm.

 

According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function, normal protein synthesis, normal cell division and normal electrolyte balance. FSANZ states that magnesium contributes to normal growth and development in children, normal psychological function and normal energy metabolism.

 

According to the published literature, many diseases have been associated with low magnesium status or low serum magnesium concentrations.  These diseases are main causes of morbidity and mortality in Western societies and include Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, the metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

 

It is known that the intake of bioavailable magnesium decreases inflammatory biomarker production (that is, decreases inflammatory cytokine production).  It is considered that this magnesium mediated decrease in cytokine production may be responsible for the multiple health benefits claimed for magnesium.  For an excellent insight into how magnesium decreases cytokine production within cells see the USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) publication titled Magnesium Decreases Inflammatory Cytokine Production:  A Novel Innate Immunomodulatory Mechanism.

 

Magnesium has been identified also as an essential second messenger and regulator of signaling in human immune system T cells.  Activation of T cells requires a rapid magnesium influx.  Immune system T cells are involved in a range of immunological processes including activation of macrophages and the destruction of virally infected cells and tumor cells.  For an excellent article on magnesium and T cell activation see the publication in Nature from the research group at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.  See Signaling role for Mg2+ revealed by immunodeficiency due to loss of MagT1.  See also the publication in the journal Science demonstrating that magnesium supplementation reduces Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infected cells in people.  See Mg2+ regulates cytotoxic functions of NK and CD8 T cells in chronic EBV infection through NKG2D.

 

The prestigious USA National Institutes of Health (NIH) has published a Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals which states that drinking water can be a source of magnesium and that there is an increased interest in the role of magnesium consumption in preventing and managing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and migraine headache.
[NIH Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals]

 

A major review of epidemiological studies on drinking water concluded that a low intake of magnesium in drinking water increased the risk of dying from, and possibly developing, both cardiovascular disease and stroke

 

Following a meta-analysis of high quality case control studies, a statistically significant (p < 0.001) increase was found between low magnesium levels in drinking water and cardiovascular mortality.

 

A large case control study (17,133 and 17,133 controls) found a significant protective effect of moderate to high magnesium concentrations in drinking water on the risk of death from cerebrovascular disease (stroke).

 

It has been shown recently that magnesium can be considered a wide-range inhibitor of the whole parathyroid function and magnesium helps to modulate the complex calcium, vitamin D, phosphate, parathyroid hormone, fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) system in the body – a vital system for the maintenance of health. For example, see magnesium modulates parathyroid hormone.

 

It is to be noted that intracellular magnesium concentrations increase with increasing extracellular (serum) magnesium concentrations in a dose-dependent manner.  For example, see Mg2+ regulates cytotoxic functions of NK and CD8 T cells in chronic EBV infection through NKG2D.  Thus, an increase in serum magnesium with appropriate hydration results in an increase in intracellular magnesium. It is known that sodium, potassium and magnesium ions stabilise helix DNA and single stranded and compact forms of RNA. It is more energetically advantageous for magnesium ions to stabilise DNA and RNA compared to sodium and potassium ions. Indeed, hydrated magnesium ions are preferentially located in the major groove of the B form (relevant biological form) of DNA. Optimal body hydration increases concentrations of serum magnesium. Both optimal hydration and cell magnesium ion concentrations are necessary for appropriate DNA structure and expression and consequent protein synthesis including albumin protein synthesis.

 

It is interesting also that optimal hydration produces a consistent and significant correlation between an increase in serum magnesium concentrations and an increase in serum albumin concentrations. Numerous international peer-reviewed literature articles state that increases in dietary magnesium levels and increases in serum magnesium concentrations decrease major biomarkers of systemic inflammation. Decreases in biomarkers of inflammation increase albumin synthesis in the liver and increase serum albumin concentrations. See abstracts of peer-reviewed medical articles below:

 

Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review.

 

Relations of dietary magnesium intake to biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in an ethnically diverse cohort of postmenopausal women.

 

Magnesium intake in relation to systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and the incidence of diabetes.

 

Magnesium intake, C-reactive protein, and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and older U.S. women.

 

Magnesium and C-reactive protein in heart failure: an anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium administration?

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