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Magnesium supplementation improves endothelial function, meta-analysis shows


  • Meta-analysis of 7 randomized, controlled studies with 306 participants
  • Magnesium supplementation significantly improves flow-mediated dilation by 2.97%
  • Dosage range from 107 to 730 mg/day over a median of 3 months


This meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the effect of magnesium (Mg) supplementation on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) as markers of endothelial function.

The literature search included randomized, controlled trials (English language only) indexed in MEDLINE and EMBASE databases up to November 2017. Results are reported as weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using a random effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed with I-squared (I2) and Cochrane’s Q tests. Publication bias and subgroup analyses were also performed.

A total of seven studies met the inclusion criteria with a combined total of 306 participants and published from 2000 to 2017.

Results indicate that Mg supplementation significantly increased FMD (WMD: 2.97; 95% CI: 0.23 to 5.70%, P=.033). Dosages ranged from 107 to 730 mg/day over a median of 3 months. Study heterogeneity was high, and subgroup analysis was unable to identify the sources of heterogeneity. Mg supplementation had no significant effect on CIMT (WMD: -0.13 mm; 95% CI: 0.27, 0.01; P=.077) with high heterogeneity. Mg dose, duration of treatment, health status, baseline CIMT and sample size were the potential sources of heterogeneity.

Although Mg supplementation had no effect on CIMT when all studies were analyzed together, greater improvement in CIMT was observed in certain subgroups, including hemodialysis patients; lower daily Mg dose (about 100 mg), higher sample size, and higher baseline CIMT.

These findings indicate that Mg supplementation may offer clinical value for supporting healthy endothelial function in adults.


Darooghegi Mofrad M, Djafarian K, Mozaffari H, Shab-Bidar S. Effect of magnesium supplementation on endothelial function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Atherosclerosis. 2018;273:98-105.

PMID: 29709832