A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted. The symptoms and severity of the stroke depend on the location and the extent of the stoppage because brain cells may be damaged or destroyed from lack of blood and oxygen.
Strokes may be ischemic, meaning that the blood flow is blocked from clots or clogged arteries, or hemorrhagic which occurs when a blood vessel weakens, ruptures, and leaks into the surrounding tissue. Strokes occur for a variety of reasons, especially high blood pressure.
There was a significant inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and the risk of stroke. The higher the magnesium intake, the lower the stroke risk.
A recent study reviewed the effects of dietary magnesium on the risk of stroke with some encouraging findings. Researchers reviewed the results from seven Prospective Study, conducted between 1998 and 2011, which totaled 241,378 participants. Four of the studies were conducted in the US, two in Europe and one in Taiwan. In all the studies, the dietary magnesium intake of the participants was recorded and divided into comparison groups ranging from highest to lowest intake.
The median magnesium intake in the study groups ranged from 242 mg/d to 471 mg/d. (The recommended U.S., dietary allowance for men 31 years and older is 420 mg/day). People with magnesium deficiency may show signs of agitation and anxiety, sleep disorders, and abnormal heart rhythms, among other symptoms.
There was a significant inverse relationship between dietary magnesium intake and the risk of stroke. The higher the magnesium intake, the lower the stroke risk. An increase in intake of 100 mg /day was associated with an 8% and 9% decreased risk of Ischemic Stroke, but not Hemorraghic Stroke.
Dietary magnesium has been shown to have a positive impact on decreasing hypertension, metabolic syndrome and type two diabetes in humans. Animal studies have shown that high magnesium diets have a positive effect on the levels of glucose and lipids in the blood. Since all of these conditions are risk factors for stroke, the researchers suggest that this may explain why magnesium reduces the risk of stroke.
The study was done on dietary magnesium, not supplements. The researchers maintain that people should improve their magnesium intake through nutritional sources, and state that it is premature to recommend magnesium supplements based on current data.
The study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.