Dietary magnesium depletion affects metabolic responses during submaximal exercise in postmenopausal women.


Lukaski HC, Nielsen FH




J Nutr


Magnesium is an essential mineral that is required for optimal biological function including energy metabolism. Although national nutritional surveys indicate that usual magnesium intakes do not meet recommendations, particularly among older women, diet-induced magnesium depletion is considered rare among humans without concurrent illness. We examined the effects of dietary magnesium restriction on biochemical measures of magnesium nutriture and physiologic responses during submaximal exercise in 10 postmenopausal women, 45-71 y old, not receiving hormone replacement therapy. The women consumed diets containing conventional foods with varying magnesium content totaling 112 mg/8.4 MJ (2000 kcal) supplemented with 200 mg magnesium daily for 35d (control), then 112 mg/8.4 MJ for 93d (depletion) followed by 112 mg/8.4 MJ supplemented with 200 mg magnesium/d for 49d (repletion) in a depletion-repletion experiment. RBC magnesium concentration (P < 0.05), magnesium retention (P < 0.05) and skeletal muscle magnesium concentration (P < 0.05) decreased when dietary magnesium was restricted. Peak oxygen uptake, total and cumulative net oxygen uptake determined by using indirect calorimetry and peak heart rate increased (P < 0.05) during standardized submaximal work with restricted compared with adequate dietary magnesium. These findings indicate that dietary magnesium depletion can be induced in otherwise healthy women; it results in increased energy needs and adversely affects cardiovascular function during submaximal work. This may also explain previous observations of increased energy cost during standardized exercise in physically active men and women considered to have reduced magnesium nutriture.