Magnesium deficiency increases oxidative stress in rats

Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Nov;40(11):1275-9.


Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis and late diabetic complications, diseases often associated with increased oxidative stress. Present study was carried out to examine the effect of magnesium deficiency on oxidative stress and total radical trapping antioxidant parameter (calculated) in rats and correlate it with the development of free radical mediated diseases. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups and pair fed for six weeks with low magnesium diet (70 mg/kg) and control diet (990 mg/kg) prepared synthetically. Deionized water was given ad libitum. Low magnesium diet caused a significant decrease in plasma and red blood cell magnesium levels. A marked increase in plasma malondialdehyde and corresponding decrease in total radical trapping antioxidant parameters (calculated) were observed in the low magnesium diet group than control group. The level of plasma glucose increased moderately in the low magnesium diet group. Hypertriglyceridemia and significantly decreased plasma HDL (high density lipoprotein)-cholesterol levels were observed in the low magnesium diet group. The results clearly demonstrate that magnesium deficiency is associated with increased oxidative stress through reduction in plasma antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation suggesting that the increased oxidative stress may be due to increased susceptibility of body organs to free radical injury.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Diet
  • Free Radicals
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / chemically induced
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Magnesium Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Free Radicals
  • Malondialdehyde