More magnesium in our daily diet leads to better brain health as we age, according to scientists from the Neuroimaging and Brain Lab at The Australian National University (ANU). The study included 6,001 participants, aged 40 to 73 years, who were cognitively healthy. Dietary magnesium was measured using a self-report patient questionnaire to estimate daily magnesium intake. Participants underwent MRI scans to measure total gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), left (LHC) and right hippocampus (RHC), and white matter lesions (WMLs). Researchers found that people who consumed more than 550mg of magnesium each day had a brain age approximately one year younger by the time they reach 55 than those who consumed an average intake of about 350mg a day. These observations were particularly notably in post-menopausal women. According to the authors, a 41-percent increase in magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life. Magnesium-rich foods include dark chocolate, avocado, seeds, nuts, legumes, tofu, bananas, and leafy greens.
Source: Alateeq K et al. Dietary magnesium intake is related to larger brain volumes and lower white matter lesions with notable sex differences. Eur J Nutr. 2023;62(5):2039-2051.