New US research has found that postmenopausal women who eat a diet higher in magnesium may have a lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease.
Led by researchers at Brown University, the new study looked at 153,569 postmenopausal women who were between 50 and 79 years at the start of the study, and asked them about their magnesium intake using a validated food frequency questionnaire.
The women were then followed for an average of 10.5 years to track how many experienced fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) or sudden cardiac death (SCD).
The findings, published in the Journal of Women's Health, showed that after taking into account potentially influencing factors, a higher magnesium intake was associated with a statistically significant risk reduction in fatal coronary heart disease and a reduction in risk of sudden cardiac death.
In fact, after adjusting for age, women with the lowest magnesium intake (189 mg/day) had the greatest risk for fatal CHD and SCD.
The researchers say the findings provide evidence of an association between dietary magnesium and fatal CHD and SCD in postmenopausal women, a group who are at high risk of both conditions.
Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, commented, "If the findings of this study are confirmed, future research should test whether high-risk women would benefit from magnesium supplementation to reduce their risk of fatal coronary heart disease."
Magnesium can be found in walnuts, hazelnuts, bananas, wholegrain cereals, green vegetables and dark chocolate.