Magnesium (Mg) is an essential dietary element for humans involved in key biological processes. A growing body of evidence from epidemiological studies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have indicated inverse associations between Mg intake and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The present review aims to summarize recent scientific evidence on the topic, with a focus on data from epidemiological studies assessing the associations between Mg intake and major cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and CVD. We also aimed to review current literature on circulating Mg and CVD, as well as potential biological processes underlying these observations. We concluded that high Mg intake is associated with lower risk of major CV risk factors (mainly metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension), stroke and total CVD. Higher levels of circulating Mg are associated with lower risk of CVD, mainly ischemic heart disease and coronary heart disease. Further, RCTs and prospective studies would help to clarify whether Mg intake and Mg circulating levels may also protect against other CVDs and CVD death.
Keywords: cardiovascular; death; epidemiological studies; inflammation; magnesium; metabolic syndrome; mortality; oxidation; type 2 diabetes.