The term “metabolically obese normal weight” (MONW) refers to people with normal weight and BMI, but who display some metabolic characteristics that may increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, in the same way as obesity. MONW subjects have excess visceral fat, and are predisposed to insulin resistance, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study appearing in Archives of Medical Research (2014 Jul;45(5):388-93), looked at magnesium supplementation in 47 such individuals. All subjects had serum magnesium levels below 1.8 mg/dl and were defined by the authors as having hypomagnesemia (deficient in magnesium). Those in the treatment group received 382 mg. of magnesium daily (30 ml of a 2.5% solution of magnesium chloride) for four months. The other half of the subjects received a placebo.

At the end of the four months, the group receiving the magnesium had a greater reduction in blood pressure than the placebo group. The magnesium group also had reductions in fasting blood sugar, triglycerides than the placebo group. Researchers concluded, ” Oral magnesium supplementation improves the metabolic profile and blood pressure of MONW individuals.”