The effects of high oral magnesium supplementation on blood pressure, serum lipids and related variables in apparently healthy Japanese subjects

Br J Nutr. 1997 Nov;78(5):737-50. doi: 10.1079/bjn19970191.


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, thirty-three subjects were allocated to undergo either a 4-week treatment with oral Mg supplementation (Mg(OH)2; 411-548 mg Mg/d) or a placebo. The urinary excretion of Mg increased significantly in both the first 2 weeks and the following 2 weeks of Mg supplementation, while the urinary Na excretion also increased significantly over the experimental period. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure values decreased significantly in the Mg group, but not in the placebo group. The urinary aldosterone excretion and packed cell volume increased significantly during the last 2 weeks of the experimental period compared with the run-in period and first 2 weeks of supplementation. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the values for urinary noradrenaline excretion and diastolic blood pressure at the end of the supplementation period (both expressed as a percentage of the run-in value). Statistically significant increases in lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (EC; LCAT), HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI were also observed after Mg supplementation. A significant positive correlation was observed between the levels of LCAT and urinary Mg excretion for the experimental period (expressed as a percentage of the run-in value). The total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio decreased significantly during the last 2 weeks of Mg supplementation compared with the first 2 weeks and the run-in periods, but this did not occur in the placebo group. These results suggest that Mg supplementation may lower blood pressure through the suppression of the adrenergic activity and possible natriuresis, while also improving the serum lipids through the activation of LCAT in human subjects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Aldosterone / urine
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Diastole
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Magnesium / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / urine
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase / blood
  • Sodium / urine


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Lipids
  • Aldosterone
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Phosphatidylcholine-Sterol O-Acyltransferase
  • Magnesium
  • Norepinephrine