Higher dietary magnesium intake may improve quality of life, nutritional status in COPD patients – study

By Nurul Ain Razali

- Last updated on GMT

COPD patients may achieve a better quality of life with higher magnesium intake, according to a study. © Getty Images
COPD patients may achieve a better quality of life with higher magnesium intake, according to a study. © Getty Images

Related tags Magnesium Copd body composition quality of life

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients might enjoy a better health-related quality of life (QoL) and nutritional status if they consume more magnesium.

The finding was revealed in a study titled “Health-Related Quality of Life and Nutritional Status Are Related to Dietary Magnesium Intake in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study” ​published in the journal Clinical Nutrition Research​.

“An insufficient intake of magnesium may be associated with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” ​said the researchers.

Hence, the team aimed to determine the relationship between health-related QoL, anthropometric indices and nutritional status with the intake of dietary magnesium in COPD patients vis-à-vis a cross-sectional study.

The study was performed from September to December 2018 on 61 COPD patients selected from medical centres and specialised respiratory clinics in Iran. The subjects were men aged 40 to 70 years old with moderate to severe COPD experienced for seven years.

Various measurements were utilised, for instance, body composition assessments, calf circumference and muscle strength tests, alongside a health-related QoL (HRQoL) survey and the St. George’s respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ).

The HRQoL survey is an important measurement as it evaluates the individual’s well-being and daily lives based on three domains: the physical, social and psychological impact of the disease.

Subjects were also requested to note changes in their diets, with researchers analysing the mean of three 24-hour dietary recalls to evaluate magnesium intake.

According to researchers, magnesium is important for energy metabolism, transmembrane transport of potassium and calcium ions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Individuals facing magnesium depletion can damage muscle cells and impact muscle strength and its function in the long run.

Consequently, malnutrition in COPD patients is associated with an increased risk of complications, longer hospital stays, decreased QoL and death, thereby increasing the economic costs of healthcare.


Patients ingesting magnesium amounting to 188.08mg per day are labelled the ‘A’ group, while patients consuming more than 188.08mg per day are called the ‘B’ group.

A salient result was the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) score under the HRQoL, which was significantly higher in the ‘B’ group or patients with higher consumption of dietary magnesium.

In terms of body composition, subjects in the ‘B’ group also have higher mean scores in BMI, muscle mass and arm circumference.

Based on the results, a higher dietary intake of magnesium could improve HRQoL and nutritional status. Patients were also found to manage routine tasks better and independently.

The evaluation is important because a low HRQoL score means a subject is exposed to physical impairment, depression, exacerbation and mortality.

However, the factor of body composition is complex.

The higher the subject’s body weight, the better their prognosis is, but excess body fat can create more health issues.

This study faced limitations; for example, the researchers could not establish a causal relationship and involve female subjects due to the lack of women who could be included, thereby affecting gender distribution.

“Our results revealed that higher dietary intake of magnesium can improve QoL and nutritional status in COPD patients. Future studies in COPD are suggested to answer the questions,” ​said the researchers.



Source:Clinical Nutrition Research

DOI:​ 10.7762/cnr.2022.11.1.62

“Health-Related Quality of Life and Nutritional Status Are Related to Dietary Magnesium Intake in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study.”

Authors:​ Mohammad Hassan Eftekhari et al

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