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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2001 May;21(5):858-62.

Oral magnesium supplementation induces favorable antiatherogenic changes in ApoE-deficient mice.

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Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.


Epidemiological studies indicate that dietary magnesium influences atherogenesis. Magnesium inhibits plaque formation in animals receiving a high cholesterol diet, whereas the effect of magnesium in animals on low-fat diet has not been explored. Magnesium sulfate was given in the drinking water (50 mg/mL) to 7-week-old apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE(-)(/)(-)) mice (n=30). Control animals (n=30) received tap water. At the age of 19 weeks, the extent of atherosclerosis and the density of macrophages were measured in the aortic root, and blood lipids were analyzed. The median plaque area was significantly smaller in magnesium-treated female apoE(-)(/)(-) mice and reached only 66% of control females (P<0.02). Plaque area was also less extensive in magnesium-treated male mice, although not statistically significant. Macrophage density was similar in both groups. Magnesium significantly reduced cholesterol (P<0.05) and triglyceride (P<0.01) levels, whereas high density lipoprotein cholesterol remained stable. No significant differences in body and heart weight were seen between treatment groups for either sex. In conclusion, in apoE(-)(/)(-) mice receiving a low-fat diet, magnesium supplementation significantly inhibited atherogenesis in females but not males. Plaque composition remained unchanged in terms of macrophage density. This was obtained in association with significantly reduced levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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