Up until fairly recently, magnesium was not given much public attention as a healthy nutrient. The public at large was mostly unaware of the importance of magnesium in the same way that they knew about calcium to prevent osteoporosis or iron to prevent anemia. Most people did not even know what exactly magnesium did in the body.
Fortunately, all that has appeared to change and just in the last year or so at that. People are becoming more aware of the vital role that magnesium plays in good health and are deliberately seeking to increase the amount of it that they get in their diets. And this nutrient may become more popular still in the wake of new information that has been gathered on in regarding healthy magnesium levels and cancer prevention.
What New Evidence Shows
The study that has everyone buzzing was published in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one of the foremost academic journals in the world dedicated to studying the components of food that can also be used to treat various medical conditions.
This study was a meta-analysis. This means that it looked at a variety of other studies done at different times and in different parts of the world that did research on magnesium and its relationship to colon cancer risk. It then mathematically analyzed the data from these separate studies to look for patterns and trends that seem to run as a threat through all of the research.
In this case, what the researchers found is that, for every 100mg of daily magnesium that is found in the diet, the risk for colorectal cancer is lowered by 12%.
It is believed that these significant numbers are accounted for by the fact that a magnesium-rich diet helps to lower insulin resistance so that the body is better able to use the glucose that is the by-product of the digestive process. It is believed that this more efficient use of glucose is, in turn, able to discourage the growth of malignant tumors, particularly those in the colon.
Getting Magnesium in the Diet
The problem here, however, is that most Americans simply do not get enough magnesium in their diets. This is a concern, because to judge from this analysis, adequate reserves of magnesium in the body really do seem to be able to fight against the formation of malignant tumors.
The good news is, however, that increasing one’s intake of magnesium is relatively simple. The best way to do this is to add more magnesium-rich foods to the diet, including such things as leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard and kale as well as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds and avocadoes. These foods are not only delicious but will help build up magnesium levels, as will supplementation with magnesium pills if needed. It is best to talk to a doctor or other health practitioner, however, before adding this to the current regimen of medications and supplements.
In short, this study is part of a growing trend which shows people becoming more and more aware of magnesium’s importance to overall bodily function. And now that people realize how protective this nutrient can be against colorectal cancer, hopefully intake of magnesium-rich foods like kale or avocadoes will rise and improve the overall health of people consuming them.
More From Meghan: