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Nutr Health. 1988;6(2):69-88.

Magnesium and other nutrient deficiencies as possible causes of hypertension and low birthweight.


7.2 per cent of babies born in England and Wales in 1986 had birthweights below 2,500 g. Low birthweight and hypertension are associated. European trials have reported that oral supplementation with physiological amounts of magnesium during pregnancy reduces pregnancy hypertension and also miscarriage, preterm birth and fetal growth retardation. Magnesium deficiency causes hypertension and low birthweight in animals. In humans deficiency of thiamin and other B vitamins has also been reported to cause pregnancy hypertension and low birthweight. Magnesium and B vitamins are essential for the same biochemical reactions in energy metabolism. There is evidence that magnesium consumption of substantial numbers of women in Europe and North America is too low to support a healthy pregnancy. Magnesium and thiamin are lost in processing many foods. British trials of magnesium supplementation are advocated. It is suggested that more attention should be given to magnesium in nutritional advice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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