Dementia revisited - it is a Black brains matter topic. Which is a magnesium matters topic.
And it may be a genetic difference in renal retention of magnesium.
Research I happened on early in my magnesium journey showed a difference in health risks between African American ancestry and Caucasian/white ancestry. It was an early 1970s or 60s era study and was comparing the two groups with a premise that they ate the same. I would argue that at that time different cultural groups were eating differently on average from each other. More food was still home-cooked and what was being cooked varied culturally more at that time.
I have to rummage through my archives to find it. Apparently, I have looked for it before and couldn’t find it - High blood pressure and possible ethnic differences, Nov. 28, 2018, (substack.com) That post says a lot more about what I bring up in this post briefly - Is it fairness to treat everyone ‘equally’? or Fairness to treat everyone as ‘individuals’. And is the traditional African diet healthier for Africans than the modern diet? Spoiler - yes, *when adequate protein and total calories are available.
I treat individuals without discrimination based on personal attributes - That is Equal Opportunity programming in my opinion.
Recent posts on the topic of dementia: Dementia less bad, or statin use an unidentified confounding variable? (substack.com)
Vit D supplements associated with less dementia risk. Large study. (substack.com)
Racial differences observed for risk of Alzheimer disease or other dementias.
More recently: Turney IC, Lao PJ, Rentería MA, et al. Brain Aging Among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Middle-Aged and Older Adults. JAMA Neurol. 2023;80(1):73–81. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2022.3919 (JAMAnetwork.com)
This study is crediting differences in risk ethnically with differences in social pressures, which may indeed be a factor.
“Race and ethnicity disparities in aging and Alzheimer disease and related dementias may be due partially to social forces that accelerate brain aging, especially in Black middle-aged adults.”
However, an underlying difference in the kidney’s retention of calcium at the expense of magnesium could also be a significant factor even when social pressures are not a problem. An increased loss of magnesium in the urine on a daily basis, would increase risk for dementia and other chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
We could talk about equality or equity and racial unfairness - however NO ONE is being adequately educated on the need for magnesium to prevent dementia and other chronic illness. Magnesium is ignored or suppressed across the health care field. So are iodine and high dose vitamin C or thiamin (B1) for sepsis and high dose niacin for schizophrenia.
It is unfair that ethnic differences in health are attributed to ‘social pressures’ instead of digging for other causal factors too. That is a little like saying “women’s problems” are just ‘feminine hysteria’. Why nt look for real problems that effect health in good mood or bad mood, instead of slapping on a ‘social issues’ label for everyone? Maybe some people cope with the social issues of life alright and still are getting ill even tough life seems to be going well for them.
Looking for multiple causal factors is a need in complex conditions. Not everyone will be effected by each potential factor equally but the research and education/treatment team need to be aware of a full range of possibilities to look for and treat or educate regarding selfcare changes.
Low vitamin D would also be a dementia risk factor that is ethnically biased against dark complected people living farther away from the Equator. My health guidance would be adequate protein and magnesium are needed in addition to vitamin D sources and sunshine is ideally better than a supplement. Avoiding glyphosate may also be a critical factor in why some people seem to get sick when others aren’t.
This post is lengthy and digs into the topic of differences seen in high blood pressure risk between ethnic groups and African diet is discussed via a doctor who writes about the topic. High blood pressure and possible ethnic differences, Nov. 28, 2018, (substack.com)
Excerpt, edited slightly:
When looking at hypertension and high blood pressure risk with the same diet in modern research there is a significant increased risk for African Americans to have high blood pressure and to have it occur earlier in life than in whites. (prevalence in the U.S. of hypertension in adults was "42 % for blacks and 28 % for whites," (2011-2012)). (2)
So it is a good question - how did hypertension frequency in Africans in the 1920s change from zero to 42% for African Americans in the United States, in 2011-2012?
Modern diet is a risk and differences were found between groups - socio-economic factors could play a large role: Diet differences that were noted in 2009-2010 between white groups and African American groups were more cholesterol and sugar and less fiber, whole grains, nuts/beans/seeds, fruits and vegetables for the African Americans on average. Dairy intake was not mentioned as being significantly difference.
In another research comparison calcium intake was lower on average in African Americans but so was magnesium (Table 1). Within the introduction and Diet and Blood Pressure sections of the article it is mentioned that ethnic differences in cardiovascular metabolism have been noted in African American groups and that their reduction in blood pressure when following the DASH diet was even better than the reduction in people of other ethnic background who followed the diet (it includes a magnesium rich Beans/Nuts/Seeds group as a daily/weekly recommendation). (2)
The INTERMAP study found an increased Sodium to Potassium ratio in urinary excretion and less total Potassium urinary excretion for the African American participants than white participants. (2)
Excerpt from (2): “Latest reports show that the prevalence of HTN in US adults was about 42 % for blacks and 28 % for whites . Compared with whites, blacks develop high BP earlier in life, and their average BPs are higher [5, 8]. The higher BP levels for blacks are associated with the increased risk of heart disease and stroke [5, 9, 10]. Among adults with HTN, blacks had significantly (P < 0.05) higher mortality rates than whites for diseases of the circulatory system in the cohorts of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) . Although the underlying explanations for these ethnic disparities remain poorly understood, they have been related to differences in the environment and lifestyles, such as education and socioeconomic status, body weight, physical activity, tobacco use, and nutrition [6, 12–15].” (2)
Table 1. Daily intake of macro/micronutrients of 5,105 men and 7,079 women from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study [17, 18], (2011, 2012), gives a daily nutrient intake for two Southern regions with an elevated stroke risk. Blacks and whites, and males and females, are separated making eight data sets for the two regions. Across the groups the average intake for black groups included more carbohydrates and less protein, fat and fiber. Alcohol use was minimal and lower for blacks than whites. The difference in fiber intake was largest. Cholesterol intake averaged higher for all of the groups of blacks compared to whites. Intake of electrolytes was lower for the black groups compared to the white groups.
Table 2 shows a kidney difference in sodium/potassium excretion between the black and white groups, also divided by male and female.
Males - Black, White, Females: Black, White.
Urinary potassium, mmol/24 h: 55.5 (17.9), 71.7 (21.2)*** 44.2 (15.9), 56.8 (17.9)***
Urinary sodium/potassium ratio: 3.55 (1.28), 2.75 (0.98)*** 3.69 (1.53), 2.68 (0.98)***
***P < 0.001 for Student’s the t test (2)
The Black males and females both retain more potassium and have a higher ratio of sodium to potassium excretion than the White males and females.
I suggest that there may also be more retention of calcium with loss of magnesium by the kidneys in people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.
Table 2, in a review article by Konrad and Schlingmann, 2014, includes many known gene differences that can cause chronic low levels of magnesium, and low calcium can follow the low magnesium and lead to secondary hypoparathyroidism. Taking calcium or vitamin D would not help as the calcium is being suppressed to compensate for the low magnesium. Topical sources of magnesium would be helpful. These varied magnesium related gene alleles are fairly rare and can cause significant dysfunction in an infant - uncontrollable seizures for some of the differences. Single alleles might be less disruptive as some magnesium would be absorbed or retained. The article does not mention any associations between specific gene alleles and ethnic groups. HIgh dose oral supplementation of magnesium for life is the standard treatment. (Konrad and Schlingmann, 2014) This is a thorough review article - and topical magnesium sources are not mentioned as a treatment option.
Personally, I think I have a difference in magnesium metabolism which led to secondary hyperparathyroidism with low calcium. Topical Epsom salt soaks at least once a week are a need for me even though I have lots of magnesium foods in my diet and take a small amount of magnesium glycinate as a supplement too.
Toby Rogers is not wrong:
“It tells us that western allopathic medicine is dishonest, that western allopathic medicine is a totalitarian system, and that western allopathic medicine is an existential threat to the future of humanity.” - Toby Rogers,
Western allopathic medicine is a giant Asch Conformity Experiment (substack.com)
Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.
(Konrad and Schlingmann, 2014) Martin Konrad, Karl Peter Schlingmann, Inherited disorders of renal hypomagnesaemia, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 29 (4);iv63-iv71, September 2014, https://doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfu198
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