Magnesium and cardiovascular biology: an important link between cardiovascular risk factors and atherogenesis

Cell Mol Biol Res. 1995;41(5):347-59.


In this review, a rationale is presented for how hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, end-stage renal disease, renal dialysis, and prolonged stress can all lead to atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. The data indicate that Mg deficiency caused either by poor diet and/or errors in Mg metabolism may be a missing link between diverse cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis. Data from our laboratories and others indicate that reduction in extracellular and intracellular free Mg ions (Mg2+) can induce an entire array of pathophysiological phenomena known to be important in atherogenesis, that is, vasospasm, increased vascular reactivity, elevation in [Ca2+]i, formation of proinflammatory agents, oxygen radicals, platelet aggegation, reduction in cardiac bioenergetics, cardiac failure, oxidation of lipoproteins, gender-related modulation of endothelial-derived relaxing factor/NO, changes in membrane fatty acid saturation, changes in membrane plasmalogens and N-phospholipids (suggesting changes in intracellular phospholipid signals), and probably transcription factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology*
  • Arteriosclerosis / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular System / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / metabolism
  • Magnesium / physiology*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications*
  • Male
  • Risk Factors


  • Magnesium