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More magnesium each day can put a stop to dementia and other brain health issues

Higher intakes of magnesium have been shown to positively influence cognitive health as we age, according to researchers at the Neuroimaging and Brain Lab at The Australian National University (ANU).

Researchers have uncovered a promising link between increasing one's intake of magnesium-rich foods such as spinach and almonds along with mitigating the risk of dementia, which is currently Australia's second leading cause of mortality and an alarming seventh globally.

A study of more than 6,000 cognitively healthy participants in the United Kingdom aged 40 to 73 revealed that people who ingest over 600 milligrams of magnesium daily have their brain age rejuvenated by approximately one year when they reach 55 compared to those with a typical intake level of around 350 milligrams each day.

"Our study shows a 41 per cent increase in magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life,"

- Khawlah Alateeq, lead author and PhD researcher, ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health

Experts forecast that the number of individuals worldwide who will be diagnosed with dementia is anticipated to surge from 57.4 million in 2019 to 152.8 million in 2050, placing a considerable strain on health and social services whilst simultaneously affecting the global economy.

As there is no cure for dementia, contemporary pharmacological treatments have been unsuccessful for over three decades. Thus, it is argued that more attention should be allocated towards preventing this debilitating condition from arising in the first place.

As Ms Alateeq stated, "We also found the neuroprotective effects of more dietary magnesium appears to benefit women more than men and more so in post-menopausal than pre-menopausal women, although this may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium."

The importance of monitoring magnesium intake cannot be overstated, as this mineral is critical for people from all ages and stages of life. The experts suggest that an elevated consumption of magnesium in youth may safeguard against neuro-degenerative afflictions and cognitive decline by the time we reach our 40s.

Source: Australian National University