Davies BE. The UK geochemical environment and cardiovascular diseases: magnesium in food and water. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 2014 Dec 21.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) contribute approximately one-third to noncommunicable diseases in the UK. The central role of magnesium in CVDs (enzyme activity, cardiac signalling, etc.) is well established. Mortality and morbidity rates for CVDs may be inversely related to water hardness, suggesting a role for environmental magnesium. Published official and quasi-official data sources were evaluated to establish a model magnesium intake for a representative adult: standardised reference individual (SRI), standardised reference male (SRM) or standardised reference female (SRF). For typical dietary constituents, only tap water is probably locally derived and bottled water may not be. Fruits and vegetables are imported from many countries, while meat, dairy and cereal products represent a composite of UK source areas. Alcoholic beverages provide magnesium, there is doubt about its absorptive efficiency, and they are not locally derived. A simple model was devised to examine the effect of varying dietary contributions to total daily intake of magnesium. Omitting tap or bottled water, the combined intake, solid food plus alcoholic beverages, is 10.57 mmol Mg (84.5 % RNI) for the SRM and for the SRF, 8.10 mmol Mg (71.7 % RNI). Consumers drinking water derived from reservoirs or rivers, or supplementing it with the purest bottled water, improve their magnesium intake only slightly compared with water containing no magnesium. Choosing bottled water with high magnesium content when the public supply derives from rivers or reservoirs partially satisfies magnesium needs. Real improvement in SRI magnesium nutrition is seen only where water is hard. However, this conclusion cannot be validated until new measurement technologies for body magnesium become available.
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