Tag Archives: Magnesium

Magnesium – Alzheimer study retracted

19 Apr

Some months ago I blogged about research that suggested that magnesium might help prevent Alzheimer’s dementia. At the time I wrote:

“This is an interesting result but please note that the research was funded by a pharmaceutical company that might have an interest in the outcome. In addition, the sample size was small. There is a recurring arc for this type of claim; initial studies with small sample sizes show large effects while later, better designed, research finds no or little effect. Best to keep an open mind but be willing to re-evaluate in the face of new evidence.”

Now the site Retraction Watch reports that The Journal of Neuroscience has retracted one of these papers. You can read the retraction statement here. The authors report methodological errors that will require them to rewrite the paper. But they claim:

“Despite these errors, the major conclusions of the paper remain substantiated”

So, in fairness, the question of magnesium role in preventing Alzheimer’s remains open. I repeat what I wrote in an earlier post:

“I certainly cannot dismiss the claims that magnesium may have cognitive benefits, but I would like to evidence independent of a researcher with a stake in the outcome.”

 

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Magnesium reverses cognitive deficits in mice

26 Jan

Yesterday, I blogged about the possible cognitive benefits of magnesium. Here is another example of this type of work. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found looked at a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and found that a particular form of magnesium, magnesium-L-threonate, improved memory and reduced synaptic loss in these mice:

“Our results suggest that elevation of brain magnesium exerts substantial synaptoprotective effects in a mouse model of AD and may have therapeutic potential for treating AD in humans.”

A note of caution, one of the authors of the paper, Guosong Liu, reports a financial stake in the outcome of the experiment:

“G.L. is a cofounder of Magceutics, a company that develops drugs to treat age-dependent memory decline and Alzheimer’s disease, and has a U.S. patent application on “MgT. ” The remaining authors declare no competing financial interests.”

The Magceutics company sells bottles of 60 magnesium-L-threonate capsules for $34.99 each. I was bothered by this item on the FAQ page:

“Q: Are there human clinical trials underway?
A: Yes. Magceutics is conducting human trials to confirm the nutritional benefits of Magtein for brain health. In addition, many existing Magtein customers have provided testimonials regarding the benefits of Magtein for them.”

Customer testimonials are worthless as scientific evidence, and one should be of suspicious of companies that use such evidence in support of a dietary supplement.  I certainly cannot dismiss the claims that magnesium may have cognitive benefits, but I would like to evidence independent of a researcher with a stake in the outcome.

 

 

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Magnesium and brain function

25 Jan

Seth Roberts links to this report in Nature titled “Testing magnesium’s brain-boosting effects.”

This is an interesting result but please note that the research was funded by a pharmaceutical company that might have an interest in the outcome. In addition, the sample size was small. There is a recurring arc for this type of claim; initial studies with small sample sizes show large effects while later, better designed, research finds no or little effect. Best to keep an open mind but be willing to re-evaluate in the face of new evidence.

There is evidence that the modern diet may be deficient of magnesium.

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