Can Magnesium Help Lower the Risk of Mesothelioma?

Health & Wellness

Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a role in hundreds of enzyme systems in the body, including repairing DNA. Damaged DNA from asbestos fibers lodged within the body after asbestos exposure causes malignant mesothelioma. There’s hope that magnesium could potentially help reduce the risk of developing mesothelioma and other cancers.

Emerging research over the last decade links magnesium deficiency to a range of diseases including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and diabetes. In addition, magnesium deficiency has been associated with a high risk of certain cancers and a weakened immune system. 

A recent study published in the journal Cell found that magnesium is key to activating T cells and therefore a potential component to strengthening the immune system and potentially reducing cancer risk. T cells play a major role in keeping our body strong and safe from disease.

Similar research in the journal Scientific Reports shows an association between higher magnesium intake and lower breast cancer risk. Findings in Cancer Causes and Control show an association between magnesium intake of around 400 mg/day and lower colorectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women.  

These findings point to a beneficial association between magnesium and reduced cancer risk. More clinical research is needed, but for those with a history of asbestos exposure, the possibility of reducing the risk of developing mesothelioma offers hope. Researchers from the latest study in Cell aim to focus their next phase of studies looking at magnesium as a catalyst for the immune system. 

Dietary Sources of Magnesium

Obtaining magnesium through whole foods would be the best way to ensure an adequate intake and there are a number of nutritious sources of the mineral. Talk to your physician or dietitian about any questions related to suspected mineral deficiencies.

Top Sources of Magnesium:

  • Almonds
  • Beans
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Cooked spinach
  • Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals
  • Mineral water, bottled waters and tap water
  • Pumpkin seeds

Dietary surveys show magnesium intake in the U.S. is lower than recommended amounts. This could be – in part – because Americans consume a diet high in processed foods. 

The majority of magnesium is stored inside cells and bones, making assessing Magnesium status difficult.  

If you’re concerned you’re not eating enough of these foods, a supplement not exceeding 400 mg/day would be enough to help you reach your goals. Consult your medical team before taking any new supplements.

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