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The stress caused by insomnia is known to contribute to chronic inflammation, an important underlying cause of heart disease. A new study found that people with sleep difficulties are more likely to have signs of chronic inflammation if their diets are low in magnesium, and that supplementing with magnesium can reduce these signs.
The study, published in Magnesium Research, included 100 people over age 50 who reported that their sleep quality was poor. After completing a diet questionnaire and going through some baseline tests, half of the participants were given 320 mg of magnesium (in the form of magnesium citrate) per day and the other half were given placebo for seven weeks.
The experiment revealed several findings:
“The findings show that many individuals have a low magnesium status associated with increased chronic inflammatory stress that could be alleviated by increased magnesium intake,” the study’s authors said.
A modern Western diet, with its emphasis on fast and highly refined foods, doesn’t supply much magnesium. A recent report from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) found that 60% of Americans were not getting the estimated average requirement, which is 350 mg per day for men over age 30 and 265 mg per day for women over age 30. To increase your dietary magnesium:
(Magnes Res 2010;23:158–68)
Maureen Williams, ND, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. She has a private practice on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada, and has done extensive work with traditional herbal medicine in Guatemala and Honduras. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.