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Review
Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis
  1. James J DiNicolantonio1,
  2. James H O’Keefe1 and
  3. William Wilson2
  1. 1Department of Preventive Cardiology, Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
  2. 2Hospital Medicine, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James J DiNicolantonio; jjdinicol{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Because serum magnesium does not reflect intracellular magnesium, the latter making up more than 99% of total body magnesium, most cases of magnesium deficiency are undiagnosed. Furthermore, because of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and the availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency. Certain individuals will need to supplement with magnesium in order to prevent suboptimal magnesium deficiency, especially if trying to obtain an optimal magnesium status to prevent chronic disease. Subclinical magnesium deficiency increases the risk of numerous types of cardiovascular disease, costs nations around the world an incalculable amount of healthcare costs and suffering, and should be considered a public health crisis. That an easy, cost-effective strategy exists to prevent and treat subclinical magnesium deficiency should provide an urgent call to action.

  • magnesium
  • cardiovascular disease
  • deficiency
  • mineral

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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Footnotes

  • Contributors JJD performed the literature search and wrote the manuscript. JHO and WW edited the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests JJD is the author of The Salt Fix and operates the website the saltfix.com.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no additional data available for this paper.

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