Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral that plays crucial roles in many bodily functions. Although some studies suggest that magnesium intake is inversely associated with mortality,[1][2] the evidence is mixed.[3][4]

The study

This dose-response meta-analysis assessed the association between dietary, supplemental, and total magnesium intake with all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer mortality rates. In total, 19 studies assessing 1,168,756 people were included, with follow-up periods of 4.7–26 years.

The results

Comparing the highest to lowest intakes, dietary magnesium intake, but not supplemental or total magnesium intake, was associated with reduced risks of all-cause and cancer mortality. Supplemental magnesium intake was nonsignificantly associated with an increased risk for cancer mortality. There were no associations between dietary, supplemental, or total magnesium intake and CVD mortality.

The dose-response analysis found that each additional intake of 100 mg/day of dietary magnesium was associated with a 6% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 5% reduced risk of cancer mortality.


Because the included studies were prospective cohort studies (as opposed to randomized controlled trials), it's unclear whether dietary magnesium reduced mortality in and of it of itself. Foods that are high in magnesium (whole grains, green vegetables, nuts, and beans) contain other beneficial dietary components that might improve longevity.

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This Study Summary was published on May 4, 2021.


  1. ^Marta Guasch-Ferré, Mònica Bulló, Ramon Estruch, Dolores Corella, Miguel A Martínez-González, Emilio Ros, Maribel Covas, Fernando Arós, Enrique Gómez-Gracia, Miquel Fiol, José Lapetra, Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Lluís Serra-Majem, Nancy Babio, Xavier Pintó, Rosa M Lamuela-Raventós, Valentina Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, PREDIMED Study GroupDietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with mortality in adults at high cardiovascular disease riskJ Nutr.(2014 Jan)
  2. ^Wael K Al-Delaimy, Eric B Rimm, Walter C Willett, Meir J Stampfer, Frank B HuMagnesium intake and risk of coronary heart disease among menJ Am Coll Nutr.(2004 Feb)
  3. ^Kuanrong Li, Rudolf Kaaks, Jakob Linseisen, Sabine RohrmannDietary calcium and magnesium intake in relation to cancer incidence and mortality in a German prospective cohort (EPIC-Heidelberg)Cancer Causes Control.(2011 Oct)
  4. ^Emily B Levitan, James M Shikany, Ali Ahmed, Linda G Snetselaar, Lisa W Martin, J David Curb, Cora E LewisCalcium, magnesium and potassium intake and mortality in women with heart failure: the Women's Health InitiativeBr J Nutr.(2013 Jul 14)