You can reduce your risk of stroke by taking magnesium supplements, a new study has discovered. But you should be over 60 before you begin supplementing - as it may have the reverse effect in anyone younger.
And your risk gets lower with the amount of magnesium you take, researchers found. So people who took the most magnesium every day were in the lowest risk group of all.
The protective qualities of magnesium have been assumed for a while, but it was tested in a major study for the first time only when researchers tracked the health of 26,556 male smokers, aged between 50 and 69. Their magnesium, calcium and potassium intake was measured over a period of 13 years, during which time there were 2,702 strokes in the group.
But incidence of stroke was lowest in the group that took the most magnesium, while researchers noted an inverse relationship amongst the under-60s.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2008; 168: 459-65).