I’ve always been a big fan of magnesium because it’s such a multi-tasking tool for good health. So it wasn’t surprising when my eye caught a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on magnesium’s ability to significantly slash the risk of sudden cardiac death.(1)
First a little background on this marvelous mineral. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is required to sustain healthy blood vessels, generate cellular energy, and maintain healthy nerve and muscle function. Known as the relaxation mineral because of its ability to relax muscle spasms, magnesium is required for more than 300 critical biochemical reactions throughout the body and it’s especially important to heart health.
Dropping dead from a heart attack or other cardiac event is a leading cause of death in those over 40. But it doesn’t have to be. This new study shows that people who have high amounts of magnesium circulating through their blood stream are 41% less likely to die of a heart attack compared to those with low levels.
Magnesium is necessary to relax blood vessels and arteries while maintaining normal blood pressure. Low magnesium levels have also been linked to the development of foamy plaque on the inner lining of the coronary arteries as well as thickening of the artery walls. (2) High levels, on the other hand, can decrease arterial wall thickness and stiffness by 42%.(3)
But if you’re relying on your diet to supply you with this important mineral, let me tell you right now that you aren’t get enough.
The sad fact is that the food sold in supermarkets today has 75% less magnesium than the foods your grandparents ate. Even if that weren’t the case, cooking and processing depletes magnesium. This means that 80% of Americans don’t have enough magnesium in their bodies to do all the tasks that require this mineral.
I find some of my patients get so excited about taking magnesium they jump right in and don’t build up their dose gradually. Taking too much magnesium when you aren’t used to it can create a laxative effect you weren’t expecting. To prevent this, I think it’s important to start with a lower dose of 150 to 200 mg. and build up to 400 mg. once or twice a day until your bowel movements are comfortably loose.
The best way to make sure you’re getting the magnesium you need is with a supplement. The minimum dose I prescribe is 400 mg. per day. But many people need more than that. To determine if you need more than the standard dose, I recommend working with a nutritionally-minded health-care provider.
1. Peacock JM. Serum magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. American Heart Journal. 2010;160: 464-470.
2. Adrian M. A long-term moderate magnesium-deficient diet aggravates cardiovascular risks associated with aging and increases mortality in rats. Journal of Hypertension. 2008;26:44-52.
3. King JL. Inadequate dietary magnesium intake increases atherosceroritic plaque development in rabbits. Nutrition Research. 2009;29:343-349.
About the author
Dr. David Blyweiss is well-known across the world for his major advancements in alternative medicine.
He’s traveled much of the world working closely with specialists to identify new plant life and natural products for possible human benefit.
In addition he has been successfully helping alternative medicine companies develop cutting-edge nutritional supplements for over 11 years. He’s currently in private practice in Florida, serves on the advisory board for Advanced Natural Medicine, and is the senior supplement advisor at The Uniscience Group.