Increased intakes of magnesium may reduce a man’s risk of colon cancer by over 50%

 

Increased intakes of magnesium may reduce a man’s risk of colon cancer by over 50 per cent, reports a new study from Japan.

 Intakes of the mineral of at least 327 milligrams per day were found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 52 per cent, compared to intakes less than 238 milligrams per day, while no benefits were observed in women, according to findings published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Researchers from Japan’s National Cancer Center in Tokyo conducted the study and noted… Dietary sources of magnesium include green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk. Earlier dietary surveys show that a large portion of adults does not meet the RDA for magnesium (320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men).

The report highlighted Magnesium as one of the minerals with fastest growth in the food and dietary supplement categories, along with Calcium.

For this study, the Japanese researchers recruited 87,117 people with an average age of 57 and followed for about eight years. Dietary intakes were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. Average intakes of magnesium for men and women were 284 and 279 milligrams per day.

During the course of the study, 689 and 440 cases of colorectal cancer in men and women were documented. Men with the highest average intakes of magnesium (at least 327 mg/daily) were associated with a 52 per cent lower risk of colon, but not rectal, cancer, compared to men who consumed the lowest average intakes. “Increased intake of magnesium-rich foods is recommended if other studies, including randomized controlled trials, confirm our findings,” concluded the researchers.

Colorectal cancer accounts for nine per cent of new cancer cases every year worldwide. The highest incidence rates are in the developed world, while Asia and Africa have the lowest incidence rates. It remains one of the most curable cancers if diagnosis is made early.

A recent review of the cardiovascular benefits of magnesium in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, reported that increased intakes of the mineral may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in men, but the evidence is lacking for women. And with the mineral being implicated in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and toxicity issues being rare “oral magnesium supplementation is recommended”, concluded the reviewers from Brigham Young University.

Source: Journal of Nutrition Volume 140, Pages 779-785 “High dietary intake of magnesium may decrease risk of colorectal cancer in Japanese men”

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