Previous research has concluded that magnesium deficiency increases the presence of inflammatory immune cells. A recent in-vitro study published in Nature Scientific Reports took this finding a step further and investigated the possibility that magnesium levels could regulate macrophages which are a specific type of immune cell that function to engulf cellular debris and foreign invaders. Researchers specifically sought out to determine the effects of macrophage-induced inflammation and whether their inhibitory effects impact cartilage regeneration.
The results of the study indicated that magnesium did inhibit macrophage activation. Researchers also found that magnesium promoted a specific type of stem cells (human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells) to develop into cartilage; It did so by reversing the adverse effects of macrophage-induced inflammation and thus provided a favorable environment for cartilage formation.
The above findings are an important step in determining the way future treatments for arthritis may be approached and may even provide a basis for using magnesium as an implant material for cartilage regeneration. However, further research needs to be done to verify whether these findings hold true when tested in a living organism and to understand the mechanism by which magnesium counteracts adverse effects of macrophage-induced inflammation.