Daily magnesium supplementation improves physical performance in healthy elderly women according to a new clinical trial.

Commenting on these latest trial findings, Dr Emma Derbyshire an independent nutritionist and advisor to the Health Supplements Information Service (HSIS) notes: “These findings suggest a role for magnesium supplementation in preventing or delaying the age-related decline in physical performance.

“This was a parallel-group, randomized controlled trial in which 139 healthy women (average age 71.5 years) attending a mild fitness program were randomly allocated to a treatment group (300 mg magnesium/day or a control group.

“After 12 weeks, the group taking a magnesium supplement had better physical performance, ability to stand on a chair for longer and better walking speeds than the control group. The improvement in walking speed was substantial and was 12 metres per minute.

“These findings were more evident in participants with a magnesium dietary intake lower than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).  In the latest figures from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) average magnesium intakes across the population fell below the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). Adults aged 19 to 64 years had magnesium intakes that were 89% of the RNI while adults aged 65 years and over achieved just 87% of RNI. [2]The findings from this study therefore suggest the benefits of taking a magnesium supplement to help to maintain physical performance in older people.”