The effect of variable magnesium intake on potential factors influencing endurance capacity

Patricia Lowney, M. Eric Gershwin, Lucille S. Hurley, Judith S. Stern, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Rats fed a magnesium (MG) deficient diet have a lower endurance capacity than rats fed Mg adequate diets. The current study evaluates the effects of marginal, moderate, and severe Mg deficiencies on physiological and biochemical changes that may contribute to the reduced endurance capacity of Mg deficient rats. Variable levels of dietary Mg (400, 200, 100, 50 μg/g) were fed for 23 d to 5-wk-old male Osborne-Mendel rats. Indirect blood pressure and heart rate were measured during dietary treatment. Forty-eight hours after an endurance test, rats were killed and sampled for plasma glucose, insulin, and triglyceride levels. Organ weights, mineral and trace element concentrations, and carcass composition were determined. Blood pressure was lower in rats fed 50 and 100 ppm Mg during the first half of the study than in controls (400 ppm Mg). There were no significant differences in blood pressure among groups at the end of the study. Heart rate was not affected by dietary Mg intake. Plasma insulin was lowered by decreasing dietary Mg; however, plasma glucose and triglyceride concentrations were not affected by dietary Mg intake. Rats fed 100 and 50 ppm Mg diets had significantly higher calcium concentrations in plasma and gastrocnemius muscle than controls. Dietary Mg variably affected tissue trace element (iron, zinc, copper, and manganese) concentrations but did not affect Mg concentrations in any organ studied. Body composition was significantly altered by dietary Mg intake. In conclusion, variable Mg intake differentially affects the parameters evaluated. Thus, the decreased endurance capacity of the Mg deficient rat is apparently not the result of a single biochemical lesion but is likely to be multifactorial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1988


  • blood pressure
  • exercise capacity
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Osborne-Mendel rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry


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