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Magnesium is an abundant mineral in our bodies. Most is present in our bones and soft tissues. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium in adults is between 310 and 420 milligrams. Good sources of this mineral include leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

This week, in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers compared dietary intake of magnesium to the risk of death in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers followed 7216 adults aged 55 to 80 years old enrolled in the PREDIMED (Prevention with diet Mediterranean) study for five years. Individuals in this study were assigned to one of two Mediterranean diets supplemented with either nuts or olive oil and advised to limit fat intake. Dietary intake of magnesium was divided into thirds or tertiles.

During follow up, there were 81 cardiovascular deaths, 130 cancer deaths, and 277 cardiovascular events (strokes, heart attacks). Individuals in the higher one third (tertile) of dietary magnesium intake had a 34 percent lower risk of dying than those in the lowest third.

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