Magnesium intake, the metabolic syndrome, and chronic disease: A critical review of epidemiologic studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Magnesium is an essential mineral with several dietary sources including wholegrains, green leafy vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Emerging evidence indicates that high magnesium intake from diet or supplements may favorably affect a cluster of metabolic abnormalities including insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, known as metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is prevalent worldwide and is associated with increased risks of major chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome, and certain forms of cancer. In observational studies, magnesium intake has been inversely associated with chronic inflammation, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, type 2 DM, CVD, and colorectal cancer. Some small clinical trials with short durations appeared to support the potential efficacy of magnesium supplementation in the prevention and/or treatment of metabolic syndrome in human populations, although the long-term benefits and safety of magnesium treatment remain to be determined in future large-scale, well-designed randomized controlled trials with long follow-up periods. This article provides a systematic review of the current literature from human population studies on dietary magnesium intake and a host of metabolic disorders, focusing primarily on the role of magnesium intake in the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 DM, hypertension, CVD, and colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDietary Magnesium
Subtitle of host publicationNew Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781616681050
ISBN (Print)9781606921098
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Song, Y. (2008). Magnesium intake, the metabolic syndrome, and chronic disease: A critical review of epidemiologic studies. In Dietary Magnesium: New Research (pp. 11-43). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..