Research Suggests that Magnesium is Magnificent for your Heart’s Health
Every year, 4.3 million people in Europe die from cardiovascular diseases according to the press release issued by EHN [European Heart Network] on the occasion of World Heart Day 2011. Out of these over 1.8 million die from these diseases before they reach the age of 75.
Increasing incidences of heart diseases and mortality can be traced to dramatic rise in the prevalence of risk factors like obesity, overweight and diabetes which are an outcome of poor nutrition. Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) found that every year, 38,000 cases of cardiovascular disease among adults can be attributed to bad diet which is high in fats, low in complex carbohydrates and is highly mineral deficient.
Studies conducted in different parts of the world have also found that magnesium deficiency is closely associated with cardiovascular disease. In 2001, a study carried out in Greece, found that patients with heart diseases frequently have low levels of Magnesium. In the US too, researchers from North-western University School of Medicine in Chicago have found that not having enough magnesium in your diet increases your chances of developing coronary artery disease.
Magnesium for a Healthy Heart
Conclusions of these studies are not difficult to believe. Magnesium is essential to heart health—a fact that was proven in 1935 when Magnesium was first shown to be of value in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. “All muscles, including the heart and blood vessels, contain more magnesium than calcium. If magnesium is deficient, calcium floods the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels, which can result in higher blood pressure, arterial spasm, angina and heart attack. A proper balance of magnesium in relation to calcium can prevent these symptoms” says Dr Mark Sircus, a health researcher and writer.
Magnesium works as nutritional oil, lubricating the heart and facilitating its functions. Due to lack of magnesium the heart muscle can develop a spasm or a cramp and can stop beating. Abnormal heart rhythms that arise due to magnesium deficiency include premature atrial contractions, premature ventricular contractions, multifocal atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and even ventricular tachycardia, fibrillation, and Torsade de Pointes.
Magnesium Works For Your Heart in the Following Ways:
- Dilates arteries: Magnesium produces vasodilation by a direct action as well as indirectly, by sympathetic blockade and inhibition of catecholamine release. Magnesium dilates both the epicardial and resistance coronary arteries.
- Balances Cholesterol: Magnesium balances cholesterol and is essential for endocrine stability and function.
- Lowers CHD risk: Studies suggest a possible association between a modestly lower risk of Coronary Heart diseases in men and increased magnesium intake. In one study of women, higher dietary intakes of magnesium were associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
- Stops Pain and Spasms: Magnesium can eliminate angina pain, muscle spasms, keep blood flowing smoothly and prevent platelet stickiness.
- Heart Rhythm: Magnesium helps maintain a normal heart rhythm. It is sometimes given intravenously (IV) in the hospital to reduce the chance of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Chernow et al in a study of postoperative ICU patients found that the death rate was reduced from 41% to 13% for patients without hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels). Other post heart surgery studies showed that patients with hypomagnesemia experienced more rhythm disorders.
- Proper Metabolism: Magnesium helps in the metabolism of important fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are vital to heart health.
- Prevents Calcification of the Heart Tissues: Magnesium and calcium work together to ensure your heart functions properly. Magnesium helps regulate calcium metabolism and is also called ‘nature's calcium channel-blocker’ because of its ability to block the entry of calcium into heart muscle cells, leading to more efficient heart function. It’s an ideal alternative choice for someone considering taking calcium blockers to control blood pressure.
- Lowers Blood pressure: High blood pressure is yet another condition where magnesium is of immense help. If high blood pressure develops due to deficiencies of selenium and zinc in combination with excesses of the heavy metal cadmium, Magnesium addresses the symptoms more quickly than restoration of the other minerals.
A Hearty Dose of Magnesium
Boosting your Mg levels relaxes your heart muscle and blood vessels, increasing blood flow and flexibility (protects against atherosclerosis) and therefore lowering the pressure in blood vessels. Fortunately, it is easy to get enough magnesium. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, avocados, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Click here to read more about magnesium-rich foods.
To make sure that you get enough of this important mineral, take magnesium supplements like Mag365. Not all types of magnesium are assimilated well by the human body. Go for a magnesium citrate supplement like Mag365, which is easier to absorb than magnesium oxide.
Some people may find it hard to assimilate oral Magnesium. An option for quickly absorbing Mg is to use transdermal magnesium therapy products like Magnesium Rub or Magnesium Gel. Magnesium Rub is a sea water concentrate, which when applied directly to your skin gets absorbed transdermally (i.e. absorbed through the skin).
References used in the article:
- (Stemming the tide of heart disease and stroke. http://www.ehnheart.org/media/news/496-stemming-the-tide-of-heart-disease-and-stroke-a-global-good-move.html)
- The RIVM report 'Measuring Dutch meals: Healthy diet and safe food in the Netherlands' http://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/270555008.html
- [Hypomagnesemia and concurrent acid–base and electrolyte abnormalities in patients with congestive heart failure. Haralampos J. Milionis, George E. Alexandrides, Evangelos N. Liberopoulos, Eleni T. Bairaktari, John Goudevenos, and Moses S. Elisaf, European Joural of Heart Failure (2002) 4(2): 167-173 doi:10.1016/S1388-9842(01)00234-3 ]
Additional Scientific Evidence of Magnesium’s preventive role in CHD:
- A magnesium deficiency is closely associated with cardiovascular disease. (Harrison, Tinsley R. Principles of Internal Medicine. 1994, 13th edition, McGraw-Hill, pp. 1106-15 and pp. 2434-35)
- Lower magnesium concentrations have been found in heart attack patients. (Shechter, Michael, et al. The rationale of magnesium supplementation in acute myocardial infarction: a review of the literature. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 152, November 1992, pp. 2189-96)
- Administration of magnesium has proven beneficial in treating ventricular arrhythmias. Ott, Peter and Fenster, Paul. Should magnesium be part of the routine therapy for acute myocardial infarction? American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 4, October 1992, pp. 1113-18
- Dubey, Anjani and Solomon, Richard. Magnesium, myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmias: the role of magnesium in myocardial infarction. Drugs, Vol. 37, 1989, pp. 1-7.
- England, Michael R., et al. Magnesium administration and dysrhythmias after cardiac surgery. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 17, November 4, 1992, pp. 2395-2402
- Yusuf, Salim, et al. Intravenous magnesium in acute myocardial infarction. Circulation, Vol. 87, No. 6, June 1993, pp. 2043-46
- Woods, Kent L. and Fletcher, Susan. Long-term outcome after intravenous magnesium sulphate in suspected acute myocardial infarction: the second Leicester Intravenous Magnesium Intervention Trial (LIMIT-2). The Lancet, Vol. 343, April 2, 1994, pp. 816-19
- Fatal heart attacks are more common in areas where the water supply is deficient in magnesium and the average intake through the diet is often significantly less than the 200-400 milligrams required daily. (Eisenberg, Mark J. Magnesium deficiency and sudden death. American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 2, August 1992, pp. 544-49)
- Magnesium is useful in preventing death from heart attack and protects against further heart attacks. Manz, M., et al. Behandlung von herzrhythmusstorungen mit magnesium. Deutsche Medi Wochenschrifte, Vol. 115, No. 10, March 9, 1990, pp. 386-90
- Iseri, Lloyd T., et al. Magnesium therapy of cardiac arrhythmias in critical-care medicine. Magnesium, Vol. 8, 1989, pp. 299-306