Low Magnesium Levels Linked to Kidney Disease

Association with Higher Risks of Serious Illness




A study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that people with low levels of magnesium in their blood have a significantly greater risk of chronic kidney disease. The researchers correlated the blood levels of magnesium in 13,226 people ages 45 to 65 with the incidence of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease among them. Subjects that had blood serum magnesium levels below what is generally considered the normal range (0.7–1 millimole per liter) were associated with a 58 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease and a 139 percent increased risk of end-stage renal disease.

Abnormally low levels of magnesium may result from a number of conditions, including inadequate intake of serum magnesium due to chronic diarrhea, malabsorption, alcoholism, chronic stress and the use of medications such as diuretics. Foods rich in magnesium include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, avocados, bananas and figs.

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