Previous studies have shown that dietary magnesium intake affects biological processes,
Lifestyle and diet are modifiable factorsrisk of developing dementia. It is important that more is known about magnesium's role as a preventive agent, the study authors say. Therefore, the staff of the Australian National University studied brain volumes and white matter lesions (white matter lesions, WML) and how these factors are associated with dietary magnesium intake.
brain volume is a particularly important factor in the developmentneurodegenerative diseases. In people with Alzheimer's disease, its atrophy just precedes the onset of clinical symptoms. An early feature of the disease is atrophy of the hippocampus, a complex brain structure that plays a role in learning and memory.
White matter is found throughout the centralnervous system, but mostly in the inner part of the brain. It consists of bundles of millions of nerve fibers that connect to the gray matter. white matter lesions areas of abnormal myelination in the brainbrain, appear as bright spots on an MRI scan of the brain. Sometimes they indicate normal aging and have no clinical significance. But often they indicate inflammation and damage to myelin, the insulating sheath that surrounds the nerves. These abnormalities are thought to be an early sign of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke.
The new study involved 6,001a person between the ages of 40 and 73 who showed no signs of neurological disorders. They completed an online questionnaire five times over a 16-month period, and the researchers used their answers to calculate daily magnesium intake based on 200 foods of varying portion sizes.
It turned out that magnesium from food is associated withwith large brain volumes and low WML, especially in gray and white matter. The scientists found that the neuroprotective effect of magnesium was significant, but varied in different areas of the brain (most notably in the gray matter and hippocampus).
The scientists compared the data of people with normalmagnesium intake (about 350 mg) per day with those who took more than 550 mg with food. It turned out that the brain age of the first group was about a year younger than their “body age” at age 55.
“Increasing magnesium intake by 41% leads toreduce age-related decline in brain size. This is associated with improved cognition and a lower risk or delayed onset of dementia later in life,” explains Khawla Alatik, lead author of the study.
While the data showed a strong associationbetween magnesium intake and brain and WML volumes in men and women, the possible neuroprotective effects of the substance were only significant in women. In addition, the study did not show an association between dietary magnesium intake and blood pressure.
Based on the new data, the researchers recommend increasing magnesium intake from an earlier age to protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
“Research has shown that higherDietary magnesium intake promotes neuroprotection earlier in the aging process, with preventive effects appearing at age 40 or even earlier. This means that people of all ages should pay more attention to their magnesium intake,” adds the author of the new work.
In the study, the researchers used productshigh in magnesium: bananas, green leafy vegetables, avocados, cashews and almonds, legumes, tofu, oily fish, seeds, and whole grains. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium.
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