Magnesium Helps Reduce Dementia Risk Less Age-Related Brain Shrinkage

Magnesium Helps Reduce Dementia Risk Less Age-Related Brain Shrinkage ...

A 41% increase in magnesium intake in daily diets, such as spinach and nuts, resulted in a brain age roughly one year younger by 55, compared to those who consumed 350 mg per day. This is linked to improved cognitive function and a decreased risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life.

According to scientists from the Australian National University's Neuroimaging and Brain Lab, more magnesium in our daily diet helps us live longer.

A boost in magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach and nuts, might also help to lessen the risk of dementia, which is Australia's second leading cause of death and the seventh biggest killer globally.

People who consume more than 550 milligrams of magnesium per day have a brain age that is roughly one year younger by the time they reach 55, compared to someone who consumes about 350 milligrams per day.

Khawlah Alateeq, a PhD researcher at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, believes that a 41% increase in magnesium intake might help to lessen age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of dementia in later life.

"This research demonstrates the potential benefits of a magnesium-rich diet and the role it plays in improving brain health."

Erin Walsh. Credit: Jamie Kidston/ANU

The number of dementia patients in the world is anticipated to more than double from 57.4 million in 2019 to 152.8 million in 2050, putting greater pressure on health and social services as well as the global economy.

According to study co-author Dr. Erin Walsh, who is also from ANU, there is no cure for dementia and the development of pharmacological treatments have been unsuccessful for the past 30 years.

"Our research may assist in the development of public health strategies to promote healthy brain ageing through eating strategies."

A higher intake of magnesium in our diets at a younger age, suggests that we may be at a safer position against neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline by the time we reach our 40s.

“Our research suggests that higher dietary magnesium intake may enhance neuroprotection earlier in the aging process, and that preventative actions may begin as early as our 40s,” Ms. Alateeq said.

People of all ages should pay closer attention to their magnesium intake, according to the author.

"We also found that more dietary magnesium appeared to benefit women more than men and more so in post-menopausal women than pre-menopausal women, although this may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium."

Participants completed an online questionnaire five times over a period of 16 months. The responses were used to determine participants' daily magnesium intake and were based on 200 foods with varying portion sizes. ANU team focused on magnesium-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and wholegrains to provide an average estimation of magnesium intake from the participants' diets.

The study has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Khawlah Alateeq, Erin I. Walsh, and Nicolas Cherbuin, 10 March 2023, European Journal of Nutrition. DOI: 10.1007/s00394-023-03123-x

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