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Leafy greens are a great source of magnesium.

Leafy greens are a great source of magnesium.

Though it may not garner as much media attention as other forms of the disease, colorectal cancer is a serious health concern for Americans. According to the American Cancer Society,  given current rates of infection, there will be 103,170 new cases of the affliction diagnosed in the United States this year. That figure puts it among the top five causes of cancer-related death in the country.

But, despite these grim figures, a recent study has inspired optimism in some members of the medical community. According to NutraIngredients USA, researchers from China's Soochow University have discovered that taking magnesium supplements on a regular basis could reduce an individual's risk of developing colon cancer by approximately 7 percent.

To determine this, the scientists reportedly reviewed the cases of more than 338,000 individuals by analyzing eight separate studies on the effects of magnesium on cancer risk.

"On the basis of the findings of this meta-analysis, a higher magnesium intake seems to be associated with a modest reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer, in particular, colon cancer," the researchers wrote in the study abstract, which was recently published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Currently, the average American has a 5 percent chance of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point over the course of his or her life. This study has further highlighted the importance of seeking out proper nutrition for the brain and body. And, while magnesium can be found in common foods like leafy vegetables and certain starches, it is still easy – and relatively common, to skimp on this important mineral.

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