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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #114975


item MILNE, DAVID - 5450-10-00

Submitted to: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2002
Publication Date: 3/1/2002
Citation: Klevay, L.M., Milne, D.B. 2002. Low dietary magnesium increases supraventricular ectopy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 75:550-554.

Interpretive Summary: Magnesium has been suggested as beneficial to all phases of the processes that lead to the most common heart disease in the U.S. where diets frequently do not contain the amount of magnesium thought to be required for health. Women who ate a diet containing approximately 40% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) responded with decreased magnesium in blood serum, red blood cells and urine and with a small increase in heart beats of unusual origin. These changes indicate that 130 mg of magnesium is too little and that the RDA may be correct. People who live in soft water areas, who are predisposed to magnesium loss or who have some characteristic patterns on electrocardiograms may need more magnesium than others.

Technical Abstract: Magnesium has been suggested as being beneficial to all phases of the processes that lead to ischemic heart disease including terminal events such as arrhythmia and sudden death. Twenty-two postmenopausal women were maintained in a metabolic unit and ate a diet of conventional foods containing less than half of, or more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium. Dietary assignments were random and double blind in a crossover design. After 81 days, magnesium decreased in erythrocytes, serum (total and ultrafilterable) and urine. Holter monitors revealed a significant increase in both supraventricular and supraventricular plus ventricular beats when dietary magnesium was low. Hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia and hypokalemia were not found. The magnesium requirement was defined using biochemical and electrophysiological criteria. The Recommended Dietary Allowance seems correct; 130 mg daily are too little. People who live in soft water areas, who use diuretics, or who are predisposed to magnesium loss or ectopic beats may require more dietary magnesium than others.