Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men

M. Maggio, G. P. Ceda, F. Lauretani, C. Cattabiani, E. Avantaggiato, S. Morganti, F. Ablondi, S. Bandinelli, L. J. Dominguez, M. Barbagallo, G. Paolisso, R. D. Semba, L. Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optimal nutritional and hormonal statuses are determinants of successful ageing. The age associated decline in anabolic hormones such as testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a strong predictor of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and mortality in older men. Studies have shown that magnesium intake affects the secretion of total IGF-1 and increase testosterone bioactivity. This observation suggests that magnesium can be a modulator of the anabolic/catabolic equilibrium disrupted in the elderly people. However, the relationship between magnesium and anabolic hormones in men has not been investigated. We evaluated 399 ≥65-year-old men of CHIANTI in a study population representative of two municipalities of Tuscany (Italy) with complete data on testosterone, total IGF-1, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and serum magnesium levels. Linear regression models were used to test the relationship between magnesium and testosterone and IGF-1. Mean age of the population was 74.18±6.43 (years±SD, age range 65.2-92.4). After adjusting for age, magnesium was positively associated with total testosterone (β±SE, 34.9±10.3; p=0.001) and with total IGF-1 (β±SE, 15.9±4.8; p=0.001). After further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), log (IL-6), log (DHEAS), log (SHBG), log (insulin), total IGF-1, grip strength, Parkinson's disease and chronic heart failure, the relationship between magnesium and total testosterone remained strong and highly significant (β±SE, 48.72±12.61; p=0.001). In the multivariate analysis adjusted for age, BMI, log (IL-6), liver function, energy intake, log (insulin), log (DHEAS), selenium, magnesium levels were also still significantly associated with IGF-1 (β±SE, 16.43±4.90; p=0.001) and remained significant after adjusting for total testosterone (β±SE, 14.4±4.9; p=0.01). In a cohort of older men, magnesium levels are strongly and independently associated with the anabolic hormones testosterone and IGF-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e594-e600
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number6 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Anabolic hormones
  • Magnesium
  • Older men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Urology


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