Optimal nutritional and hormonal statuses are determinants of successful ageing. The age associated decline in anabolic hormones such as testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a strong predictor of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and mortality in older men. Studies have shown that magnesium intake affects the secretion of total IGF-1 and increase testosterone bioactivity. This observation suggests that magnesium can be a modulator of the anabolic/catabolic equilibrium disrupted in the elderly people. However, the relationship between magnesium and anabolic hormones in men has not been investigated. We evaluated 399 ≥65-year-old men of CHIANTI in a study population representative of two municipalities of Tuscany (Italy) with complete data on testosterone, total IGF-1, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and serum magnesium levels. Linear regression models were used to test the relationship between magnesium and testosterone and IGF-1. Mean age of the population was 74.18 ± 6.43 (years ± SD, age range 65.2-92.4). After adjusting for age, magnesium was positively associated with total testosterone (β ± SE, 34.9 ± 10.3; p = 0.001) and with total IGF-1 (β ± SE, 15.9 ± 4.8; p = 0.001). After further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), log (IL-6), log (DHEAS), log (SHBG), log (insulin), total IGF-1, grip strength, Parkinson's disease and chronic heart failure, the relationship between magnesium and total testosterone remained strong and highly significant (β ± SE, 48.72 ± 12.61; p = 0.001). In the multivariate analysis adjusted for age, BMI, log (IL-6), liver function, energy intake, log (insulin), log (DHEAS), selenium, magnesium levels were also still significantly associated with IGF-1 (β ± SE, 16.43 ± 4.90; p = 0.001) and remained significant after adjusting for total testosterone (β ± SE, 14.4 ± 4.9; p = 0.01). In a cohort of older men, magnesium levels are strongly and independently associated with the anabolic hormones testosterone and IGF-1.
© 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Andrology © 2011 European Academy of Andrology.