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Diet and Atherosclerosis.

The combination of trans-fatty acids (such as the fats in margarine and many shortenings in baked goods) and a magnesium deficiency can result in atherosclerosis -- calcium deposits in your arteries -- according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These particular fats change the structure of cell membranes in heart tissue that, in turn, increase the amount of calcium remaining in cells when magnesium is low.

In order to get calcium into bones, as I've said before, you need enough magnesium. Magnesium-rich foods are nuts, seeds, beans (including soybeans), and whole grains. Dairy products contain calcium without magnesium. That means when you consume dairy, you need a great deal more magnesium to allow calcium to get into your bones, not into your arteries.

The researchers in this study discovered that adding trans-fatty acids to a diet increased calcium deposits. In addition to eating a diet high in magnesium and making sure your supplements give you equal amounts of these minerals, it seems important to keep foods high in trans fats out of your diet. Except for an occasional dessert, of course.

Kummerow, F.A., et al. "Effect of trans fatty acids on calcium influx into human arterial endothelial cells," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 70, 1999.
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Title Annotation:magnesium, trans-fatty acids
Author:Fuchs, Nan Kathryn
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:210
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