Magnesium is a mineral you can find naturally in whole grains, beans, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
Recent studies have shown that this nutrient can offer big health benefits.
The first benefit is helping lower the risk of pancreatic cancer.
A study from the Indiana University shows that magnesium intake could be an effective way to prevent pancreatic cancer.
The researchers used information from the VITamins and Lifestyle study and analyzed an enormous trove of data on more than 66,000 men and women, ages 50 to 76.
They found that every 100-milligrams-per-day decrease in magnesium intake was linked to a 24% increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer.
The effects of magnesium on pancreatic cancer are not modified by age, gender, body mass index and other factors.
The researchers suggest that for those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may help prevent the disease.
The second benefit is controlling blood pressure.
In a recent study from Indiana University, researchers find magnesium can help keep blood pressure at normal levels.
The team looked at 34 clinical trials on magnesium supplements. The group of trials involved more than 2,000 people.
In those trials, people took from 240 mg to 960 mg of magnesium daily as a supplement.
The researchers found a small but important link between the amount of magnesium taken and blood pressure levels.
The higher the level of magnesium, the better a person’s blood flowed. The ease of blood flow is one factor in blood pressure control.
This is because magnesium makes blood vessels expand (dilate). It lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease and stroke.
The third benefit is treating depression.
A recent study from the University of Vermont shows that over-the-counter oral magnesium tablets could help treat mild-to-moderate depression.
The researchers examined 112 adults in outpatient primary care clinics. All of the people experienced mild-to-moderate depression.
In the study, participants in the experiment group received 248 milligrams of elemental magnesium per day over 6 weeks, while those in the control group received no treatment.
The team found that taking magnesium for six weeks led to great improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms.
In addition, these positive effects were shown quickly, at two weeks, and the supplements were well tolerated.
This means that magnesium is a safe and effective way to fight depression.
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Source: University of Vermont, Indiana University