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Magnes Res. 1993 Dec;6(4):369-78.

Magnesium and ageing. I. Experimental data: importance of oxidative damage.

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Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine, Laboratoire des Maladies Métaboliques, INRA, St-Genès-Champanelle, France.


Magnesium status may be compromised with ageing for two reasons: insufficient intake (magnesium deficiency) or alterations in magnesium metabolism (magnesium depletion). There is a large volume of literature suggesting that magnesium deficit contributes to the ageing process and to the vulnerability to age-related diseases. One of the biological changes associated with ageing is an increase in free radical formation with subsequent damage to cellular processes. Prime targets of the more reactive free radicals are unsaturated lipids in cell membranes, amino acids in proteins, and nucleotides in DNA. The accumulation of unrepaired oxidative damage products may be a major factor in cellular ageing. Magnesium-deficient animals show an increased susceptibility to an in vivo oxidative stress and their tissues are more susceptible to in vitro peroxidation. Moreover, the protective properties of various antioxidant drugs and nutrients suggest that free radicals are involved in the injury process of magnesium deficiency. The consequences on stress susceptibility, defective membrane functions and perturbation of intracellular calcium metabolism, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis and ischaemia/reoxygenation injury, diabetes, fibrosis, immune dysfunction and other diseases associated with ageing are presented and discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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