Magnesium (Mg) is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in various biological processes, including longevity, slowing aging, and overall health.
Scientific research has shown several benefits of magnesium for these areas:
- DNA repair and stability: Magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of DNA repair enzymes and stabilizing the DNA structure. A study by Xie and colleagues (2013) showed that Mg deficiency could impair DNA repair processes, which may lead to the accumulation of DNA damage and contribute to aging.
- Mitochondrial function: Magnesium is crucial for maintaining mitochondrial function, which is critical for producing energy (ATP) in cells. As mitochondria become less efficient with age, maintaining their function can contribute to better health and longevity. A study by Castiglioni et al. (2013) suggested that magnesium may help protect mitochondria from oxidative stress, which is associated with aging.
- Telomere maintenance: Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that shorten as cells divide, eventually leading to cellular senescence or cell death. Research by Xu et al. (2014) found an association between higher magnesium levels and longer telomere length, which may contribute to a longer lifespan.
- Inflammation reduction: Chronic inflammation is associated with aging and age-related diseases. Magnesium has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties. A study by Mazidi et al. (2017) demonstrated that higher magnesium intake was associated with reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation.
- Insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism: Magnesium is involved in insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. A deficiency in magnesium can contribute to insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a condition associated with aging. A meta-analysis by Fang et al. (2016) found that magnesium supplementation improved insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance and magnesium deficiency.
- Cardiovascular health: Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining cardiovascular health. A meta-analysis by Zhang et al. (2016) found that magnesium supplementation can lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. Additionally, a study by Del Gobbo et al. (2013) showed that higher magnesium intake was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which could contribute to improved longevity.
- Cognitive function: Magnesium is involved in various processes related to brain function, such as neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Studies have indicated that magnesium may have neuroprotective effects and help maintain cognitive function as we age. For instance, a study by Slutsky et al. (2010) found that magnesium supplementation enhanced learning and memory in rats.