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Magnesium reduces risk of total and ischemic stroke, meta-analysis shows


  • Meta-analysis of 8 prospective population studies including over 304,000 participants
  • Magnesium intake linked to 3% reduction in stroke risk per 100 mg/day increment
  • Risk reduction relates to both total and ischemic stroke risk


This meta-analysis was designed to assess the relationship between magnesium intake and risk of stroke in observational studies.

The literature search included selected databases from 1966 through August 2011. Study inclusion criteria included prospective studies with relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between magnesium intake and the risk of total stroke incidence or mortality.

A total of eight studies, with 8,367 stroke cases among 304,551 participants, were included in the meta-analysis. The summary RR indicated a significant association between the highest magnesium intake and reduced risk of total stroke (summary RR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.82, 0.97).

The dose-response analysis showed a borderline inverse association between magnesium intake and total stroke risk (an increment of 100 mg/day; summary RR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.00). One study appeared to contribute most of the heterogeneity. Excluding this study from analysis resulted in a more pronounced inverse association of 3% decreased stroke risk for an increment in magnesium intake of 100 mg/day (summary RR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95, 0.99) without evidence of heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses also suggested a significant inverse association between the highest magnesium intake and the risk of ischemic stroke (summary RR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.98).

The present meta-analysis of prospective cohorts suggests that higher magnesium intake is associated with reduced risk of total and ischemic stroke.


Nie ZL, Wang ZM, Zhou B, Tang ZP, Wang SK. Magnesium intake and incidence of stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013;23(3):169-76.

PMID: 22789806