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New Magnesium Information Center & HelpLine Aids Public and Physicians
New York NY, 23 April 2002

Most people -- including many physicians -- have no idea how vital magnesium is to the body's well-being. But now they can learn.

Mildred S. Seelig, MD, Barbara S. Levine, PhD, and Lawrence M. Resnick, MD, of the Magnesium Advisory Board, today announced the activation of the Magnesium Information Center and HelpLine (1-800-508-8059) and website (www.execpc.com/~magnesum/).

Available Monday through Friday from 9 am-5 pm Eastern Time to answer questions from both patients and physicians about magnesium's role in good health, the HelpLine is run by the Magnesium Information Center, which is part of the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Magnesium Information Center is overseen by the Magnesium Advisory Board.

"Magnesium is essential for keeping everything in the body working well: cells, muscles, nerves, organs, bones," says Dr. Levine, Co-Director of the Human Nutrition Program at the Rockefeller University, New York City. "And this mineral plays a critical part in the control of several chronic diseases."

Dr. Resnick, professor of medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, adds: "With the Magnesium Information HelpLine and the Magnesium Information Center Web site, people now have access to valuable and easy-to-understand information, and physicians can quickly obtain the more technical data they need. Both groups will be well served."

How much do we need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), now known as the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), for magnesium varies according to age, sex, and in the case of females, whether a woman is pregnant. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables (spinach, in particular), and whole grains can meet the DRI, but surveys have found that most adult Americans don't follow these guidelines. In fact, during the twentieth century, the per capita dietary intake of magnesium decreased by 50%.

A diet deficient in magnesium can have very serious consequences, as shown by the link between magnesium and the following chronic illnesses:

Cardiovascular disease

Magnesium deficiency in the diet causes metabolic changes that contribute to heart attacks and strokes, and cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US.


The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial, which tested three different diets to determine their effect on blood pressure, found that a high-magnesium diet significantly lowered high blood pressure in all groups.


People with diabetes must maintain adequate levels of magnesium because the mineral affects the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates. It also influences the release and activity of insulin, which controls blood glucose levels. (People with diabetes can experience glucose levels that are too high or too low, potentially causing kidney, nerve, and eye damage.) Recent studies show a sharp increase in Type II diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or NIDDM) among US children, with the mean age at diagnosis being 12 to 14 years of age. Generally obesity, strong family history of the disease, and signs of insulin resistance are factors.

Heart rhythms

Approximately 1% of people under 60, and 5% to 10% over 65, experience heartbeats of more than 100 times per minute (the norm is 60 to 100). Magnesium, in conjunction with potassium, helps control rapid and irregular heartbeats.

Congestive heart failure

Correcting low levels of magnesium and potassium may help prevent the sudden death associated with this disease. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart fails to propel blood forward normally. As a result, lungs become congested and circulation throughout the body is poor.

Other health issues

A magnesium deficiency may play a part in migraine headaches. In addition, among women, lack of magnesium may be involved with premenstrual difficulties and the onset of postmenopausal osteoporosis. During pregnancy, adequate levels of magnesium help prevent premature contractions and help delay preterm births and at-risk low birth weight babies. Low magnesium intake has also been shown to contribute to eclampsia and convulsions occurring in pregnant women with preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure due to pregnancy.

When diet fails to supply adequate magnesium, oral supplements have been shown to ease the symptoms of disease.

For more information about magnesium, contact:

Magnesium Information Center
New York Weill Cornell Medical Center
525 East 68th Street, Box 38
New York, NY 10021


Magnesium Advisory Board, via PR Newswire.end-of-story



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