The antihypertensive effect of magnesium (Mg) supplementation remains controversial. We aimed to quantify the effect of oral Mg supplementation on blood pressure (BP) by synthesizing available evidence from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. We searched trials of Mg supplementation on normotensive and hypertensive adults published up to February 1, 2016 from MEDLINE and EMBASE databases; 34 trials involving 2028 participants were eligible for this meta-analysis. Weighted mean differences of changes in BP and serum Mg were calculated by random-effects meta-analysis. Mg supplementation at a median dose of 368 mg/d for a median duration of 3 months significantly reduced systolic BP by 2.00 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.43-3.58) and diastolic BP by 1.78 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.73-2.82); these reductions were accompanied by 0.05 mmol/L (95% confidence interval, 0.03, 0.07) elevation of serum Mg compared with placebo. Using a restricted cubic spline curve, we found that Mg supplementation with a dose of 300 mg/d or duration of 1 month is sufficient to elevate serum Mg and reduce BP; and serum Mg was negatively associated with diastolic BP but not systolic BP (all P<0.05). In the stratified analyses, a greater reduction in BP tended to be found in trials with high quality or low dropout rate (all P values for interaction <0.05). However, residual heterogeneity may still exist after considering these possible factors. Our findings indicate a causal effect of Mg supplementation on lowering BPs in adults. Further well-designed trials are warranted to validate the BP-lowering efficacy of optimal Mg treatment.
Keywords: blood pressure; hypertension; magnesium; meta-analysis; randomized controlled trial.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.