There are several macronutrients closely associated with cancer resilience and broader wellness. New research shows that low magnesium levels may contribute to worse cancer treatment outcomes, making it a valuable supplement for cancer patients. 

What is Magnesium? 

Magnesium is a natural, readily available macronutrient commonly found in almonds, cashews, spinach, and walnuts. 100 grams of walnuts have 63% of an adult’s recommended intake, with most multivitamins having 100% or more of the recommended amount. The nutrient is utilized in muscle contraction, the nervous system, and bone health, and reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

Can Magnesium Cause Cancer?

There is no link between elevated magnesium intake and cancer, but research shows low magnesium levels increase the risk of cancer in mice. In laboratory tests, mice with low magnesium intake saw cancer spread faster and were more susceptible to viral infections.

This is especially concerning for cancer patients, who often experience lower magnesium levels during treatment. 

How Does Cancer Cause Low Magnesium?

Hypomagnesemia, or low magnesium, is the result of many factors, including:

  • Reduced dietary intake
  • Cellular changes/malabsorption
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Medication

These factors make magnesium supplements an important part of treatment for most cancer patients. Hypomagnesemia increases the risk of viral infection that could complicate care, as well as low energy levels, and poor treatment outcomes. 

Related: Why Many Psyllium Husk Products Have a Cancer Warning

Be Proactive About Supplementation

For cancer patients, magnesium intake is a critical dietary and supplementary priority. Here are a few ways to get the magnesium you need. 

Eat magnesium-rich foods. Talk to your healthcare provider about foods high in magnesium, such as spinach, green beans, and other leafy greens. Don’t forget about nuts and whole grains!

Supplement intake. Find a high-quality supplement and make sure it suits your needs by clearing it with your healthcare team. 

Monitor. Make sure you’re staying on top of your magnesium intake by monitoring levels at healthcare visits. You might consider at-home testing as well. 

Individuals process macronutrients like magnesium differently, and cancer patients may need larger amounts per day to enjoy the benefits. Always consult your primary care physician or cancer care team for personalized recommendations.

Another Piece in the Puzzle

Magnesium is one of many factors that impact overall health and protect individuals from cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about magnesium and if supplementation is right for you. Stay in touch with Less Cancer and show your commitment; consider donating to our mission today.