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Magnesium eases diabetic blood pressure.

Magnesium eases diabetic blood pressure

A daily dose of magnesium may help lower blood pressure in hypertensive people with Type II diabetes, a glucose-processing disorder that generally strikes after age 40 and is usually controlled without insulin.

Samuel A. Malayan at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and his colleagues report that compared with healthy nondiabetics, hypertensive people with Type II diabetes had lower magnesium levels in their red blood cells. A number of recent studies have indicated that a magnesium deficiency may contribute to hypertension (SN: 6/4/88, p.356). Complementary findings in other research suggest that a magnesium-enriched diet may lower blood pressure by relaxing constricted blood vessels.

In the new study, the California team gave seven hypertensive diabetics 260 milligrams of magnesium chloride per day. After six weeks, blood pressure levels among these volunteers dropped from a starting average of 157/96 mellimeters of mercury (mm Hg) to just 127/77 mm Hg. Physicians consider a reading of less than 140/90 normal and a sign of healthy vessels.

Malayan says the study findings suggest some Type II diabetics may control their high blood pressure with magnesium pills or perhaps a diet that includes green, leafy vegetables and other foods rich in this mineral. But despite the encouraging results, his team stops short of advising all Type II diabetics with hypertension to pop magnesium tablets.

Jerry Nadler at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., a coauthor of the new study, cautions that people with diabetes can experience kidney failure, resulting in dangerously high blood levels of magnesium. He therefor recommends that diabetics consult their physicians before taking any magnesium supplements.

The scientists say their results apply to Type II diabetes only. They don't know whether people with insulin-dependent (type I) diabetes, which strikes in childhood, would reap the same vascular relief seen in the Type II diabetics taking magnesium supplements.
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Author:Fackelmann, Kathy A.
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 22, 1990
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