Recent research at the Karolinska Institute, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, indicates that individuals who consume magnesium-rich foods may have a lower risk of stroke than those who do not. Researchers explain that the association between magnesium in the diet and stroke risk appeared most significant in ischemic stroke.

According to the study the risk for ischemic stroke was cut by 9% for each additional 100 milligrams of magnesium consumed daily. Researchers add that consuming magnesium-rich foods also decreased the risk of stroke in general, with an 8% cut in stroke risk for every 100 additional milligrams of magnesium consumed daily.

The study reportedly encompassed data from seven prior studies outlining magnesium intake and stroke. Researchers report that the data gathered yields from studies with more than 240,000 participants, conducted between the years 1998 and 2011. According to the studies, participants aged 34 years and older were followed over a period of 8 years to 15 years. Researchers say that over this duration, 6,500 participants suffered a stroke. The results indicate that the average magnesium intake for all study participants ranged from 242 milligrams a day up to 417 milligrams daily. The study’s results also suggest that patients with higher intake amounts of magnesium in their diet exhibited a lower risk for stroke. The standing results remained, researchers say, even after other factors including blood pressure, diabetes, age, smoking, high cholesterol, and physical activity were considered. 

While the recommendation of magnesium supplements to reduce stroke risk may be premature, researchers acknowledge, they encourage individuals to consume more magnesium-rich foods, “…such as green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole-grain cereals,” as they appear to be prudent to the cause of reducing stroke risk.

Source: Karolinska Institute