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Positive correlation between total serum magnesium and serum lipid levels in the general population is clear: Ionized magnesium remains to be examined

  • Edward W. Randell
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Room 1J442A Biochemistry, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Health Sciences Centre Site, HCCSJ 300 Prince Phillip Drive, St. John's, Nfld, Canada A1B 3V6. Tel.: +1 709 777 6375; fax: +1 709 777 6395.
    Affiliations
    Discipline of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Health Care Corporation of St. John's, St. John's, Nfld, Canada A1B 3V6
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  • Guang Sun
    Affiliations
    Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Nfld, Canada A1B 3V6
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      We appreciate the comments made by Dr. Corsonello and co-workers but will now address some of the concerns raised by this group. There were questions regarding the population used and the probability of there being high rates of insulin resistance. The study is population based with the only specific limitations on participation being age, inability to attend for blood collection and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and presence of severe metabolic, cardiovascular or endocrine disorders. The clinical and biochemical description of the study population are available in this and other publications from our group [
      • Sun G.
      • Vasdev S.
      • Martin G.
      • Gadag V.
      • Zhang H.W.
      Altered calcium homeostasis is correlated with abnormalities of fasting serum glucose, insulin resistance and β-cell function in the Newfoundland population.
      ]. The definition of ‘healthy’ is relative to specifically identified conditions in our exclusion criteria and conditions within our study population that have been specifically identified for examination, such as type 2 diabetes. As to the prevalence of obesity in the study population, 19.9% were obese based on the definition of WHO [

      WHO. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series 894. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2000.

      ] using BMI. There is no consensus on definition of obesity based on DEXA measurements at the present time. The reference values for percent body fat based on DEXA are dependent on gender and age [
      • Gallagher D.
      • Heymsfield S.B.
      • Heo M.
      • Jebb S.A.
      • Murgatroyd P.R.
      • Sakamoto Y.
      Healthy percentage body fat ranges: an approach for developing guidelines based on body mass index.
      ]. The relationship between serum magnesium and insulin resistance was analyzed using several approaches including multivariate linear regression analysis. No significant association was detected between serum magnesium and insulin resistance in the entire study, even when subjects with type 2 diabetes were excluded from the analysis. Furthermore, we have subsequently eliminated all obese subjects (BMI > 30), or those with impaired fasting glucose (serum glucose ≥ 5.6 mmol/L), before data analysis in the study group and reanalyzed the data. In all cases the results were qualitatively similar to those of the original work showing serum total cholesterol as an independent predictor of serum magnesium levels.

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      Linked Article

      • Serum magnesium and lipids: More clarity is needed
        AtherosclerosisVol. 192Issue 1
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          In their recent paper, Randell et al. reported that serum magnesium levels were directly correlated with total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol in a large adult study population [1]. This paper is very interesting, and the possibility that the relationship between magnesium and lipoproteins in healthy subjects may have different meaning from that in diabetic patients merits attention. Furthermore, we agree that a binding interaction between magnesium and lipoprotein could at least partially account for these results.
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