Magnesium deficiency and alcohol consumption

A comprehensive and critical review of the evidence linking magnesium (Mg) deficiency to alcohol consumption reveals several important types of interactions. First, alcohol acutely acts as a Mg diuretic, causing a rapid and vigorous increase in urinary excretion of this metal along with that of certain other electrolytes. Second, with chronic alcohol consumption and the development of alcoholism, Mg stores in the body are depleted.

In the late stages of alcoholism, urinary Mg excretion may decrease as a physiological response to decreased intake and reduction of body stores. A number of aspects of the clinical syndrome of alcoholism contribute to and exacerbate this preexisting reduction in body Mg stores.

Third, a number of manifestations of alcoholism are thought to be due to effects of Mg deficiency, and some therapeutic benefit has been suggested from treating alcoholic patients with Mg. Finally, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential value of administering Mg as a preventive measure to prevent or minimize the harmful effects of chronic alcohol consumption or to prevent the development of cancer that may occur in this setting.


J Am Coll Nutr.: Magnesium Deficiency and Alcohol Intake: Mechanisms, Clinical Significance and Possible Relation to Cancer Development (A Review)

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