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Magnesium Intake Inversely Related to Colon Cancer Risk

Researchers believe that dietary magnesium may play a role in the prevention of colorectal cancer based on animal studies, but data in humans are lacking. To evaluate the hypothesis that a high magnesium intake may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, researchers evaluated a population-based cohort of 61,433 women aged 40 to 75 years without previous diagnosis of cancer at baseline from 1987 to 1990.

During a mean of 14.8 years of follow-up, 805 colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed. After adjustment for potential confounders, researchers observed an inverse association of magnesium intake with the risk of colorectal cancer. These findings are considered significant as a magnesium deficiency, particularly among women, was recently identified among European populations.

CONCLUSION: This population-based prospective study suggests that a high magnesium intake may reduce the occurrence of colorectal cancer in women.


Susanna C. Larsson, MSc; Leif Bergkvist, MD, PhD; Alicja Wolk, DMSc. Magnesium Intake in Relation to Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women. JAMA, January 5, 2005;293:86-89.

Key concepts: magnesium, colorectal cancer