Heart Health

Heart Health

Magnesium for the Heart

Magnesium is essential for the functional and structural integrity of the heart’s cells and blood pressure regulation. Here’s what you should know:

  • Magnesium works along with potassium to stimulate muscle contractions. Deficiencies in either or both nutrients can result in an irregular heartbeat
  • Magnesium’s work in the bloodstream as an anti-toxin, blood thinner, insulin transporter, plaque-buster and electrolyte helps reduce the risks for the development of cardiovascular diseases
  • Cellular loss of magnesium may be a basic biochemical mechanism in the evolution of myocardial lesions

Magnesium Deficiency and Cardiovascular Diseases

Magnesium in the typical western diet is inadequate to meet individual needs, and studies show that average magnesium intakes are insufficient to protect against cardiovascular disease.

People living in areas with low-magnesium water have high rates of heart attack and stroke death, higher than people living in areas of high-magnesium water. Consumption of drinking water even moderately high in magnesium can be expected to reduce cardiovascular mortality by 30–35%.

The relation between magnesium deficiency and coronary artery disease has been studied intensively. Patients with coronary artery disease frequently suffer from magnesium deficiency. Myocardial tissue magnesium concentration has been negatively linked with mortality in many studies. Hence, low magnesium levels seem to play a role in the formation of coronary artery disease.

Deficiency of magnesium in the diet and abnormalities in magnesium metabolism play important roles in different types of heart diseases such as ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, atherosclerosis, a number of cardiac arrhythmias and ventricular complications in diabetes.

Magnesium deficiency results in damage to the coronary vessels, leading to a marked reduction in oxygen and nutrient delivery to the heart cells. The incidence of magnesium deficiency in chronic heart failure has been reported at more than 30% and is accompanied by muscular magnesium deficiency.

High Calcium, Low Magnesium and Heart Disease

Calcium and magnesium have reciprocal effects in a wide variety of functions. Their imbalance can induce dysfunctions and disease. The most important risk factor for impending heart disease is a low magnesium-to-calcium ratio in the cells. All the usual factors, such as high cholesterol, active type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) and hypertension (high blood pressure) can be the result of a low magnesium status.

Magnesium Supplementation

In vascular medicine, magnesium supplementation relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure by acting as a mild physiological calcium blocker. It works as a natural blood thinner, whereas calcium thickens blood. Magnesium has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and relieve symptoms in roughly 85 percent of mitral valve prolapsed patients.

Increased magnesium outside the cell decreases amounts of calcium inside the cell, which can lower blood pressure. Magnesium also inhibits the action of the enzyme that synthetizes cholesterol, lowering triglycerides and raising high-density lipoprotein or “good cholesterol” levels.

Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve resting heart function and exercise performance.


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