Magnesium supplementation can reduce parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium levels and thereby slow vascular calcification in patients receiving hemodialysis (HD), a new study finds.

In a meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials of 309 patients on HD, magnesium supplementation significantly reduced serum PTH levels by a weighted mean difference (WMD) of 236.6 pg/mL and carotid intima-media thickness by a WMD of 0.18 mm compared with controls, Li Sun, MD, PhD, Li Yao, MD, PhD, and colleagues from the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang reported in the Journal of Renal Nutrition.

Serum magnesium increased significantly by a WMD of 1.08 mmol/L when supplemental magnesium was administered via dialysate and by 0.07 mmol/L when supplemental magnesium was given delivered orally. Serum calcium significantly decreased by a WMD of 0.50 mmol/L with oral magnesium. Magnesium supplementation had no significant effects on serum phosphate and C-reactive protein levels. Supplements were either magnesium carbonate, citrate, or oxide. The duration of therapy did not affect results.

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The results showed that magnesium supplementation alone improves CKD-MBD by regulating the metabolism of serum calcium and PTH and decreasing carotid intima-media thickness among HD patients, according to investigators.

“Our findings provide further evidence for physicians that [magnesium] can be prescribed as a type of assisted therapy to HD patients with CKD-MBD,” the authors wrote.


Guo G, Zhou J, Xu T, et al. Effect of magnesium supplementation on chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder in hemodialysis patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Ren Nutr. Published online September 14, 2021. doi:10.1053/j.jrn.2021.07.009