Marvelous Magnesium for Your Heart
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Summary: Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
 
 

Eighty-two percent of Canadians are low in magnesium, which increases the heart’s oxygen supply, prevents blood clots, relaxes the smooth muscles of the arteries, and slows the blockage of blood vessels.

Geographically, people who live in areas with higher magnesium in the water have less cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure.

Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure

Source: rosmary on Flickr.

When the blood vessels are constricted, the heart is forced to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, causing blood pressure to rise. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

In a recent study, Japanese researchers who followed individuals over an eight-week period found that blood pressure significantly dropped with magnesium use. The higher the blood pressure, the larger the drop in those who took magnesium.

Women with high blood pressure should be particularly interested in magnesium because blood-pressure-lowering medications often do not work as well for women as they do for men. Because some blood pressure medications cause erectile dysfunction in men, both sexes should add magnesium to lower blood pressure.

Magnesium Stops Strokes

Researchers of a 2009 American Journal of Epidemiology study looked at the blood magnesium levels of more than 14,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 64. Over 15 years of follow-up, it was found that low magnesium was associated with increased risk of stroke. Participants who received 270 mg daily of magnesium had a 30 percent lower risk of stroke.

Magnesium has been found to improve heart rates in heart failure patients, as well as to improve survival rates, symptoms and quality of life in patients with severe congestive heart failure. It has also been shown to reduce C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, as well as to improve exercise tolerance and quality of life in patients with coronary artery disease.

The mineral’s relaxing effect also makes it valuable in treating irregular heart beat—even in life-threatening situations. One study examining magnesium treatment immediately after heart attack found that it slashed the death rate by 75 percent and resulted in fewer complications.

Not All Magnesium Is Equal

Absorption rates and tolerability varies greatly amongst magnesium supplements. Many are poorly tolerated at therapeutic doses due to magnesium’s general laxative effect. Magnesium supplements that are not well absorbed include magnesium oxide, gluconate, and chloride.

The types of magnesium that do not cause diarrhea and that are well absorbed are those bound to amino acids, such as magnesium glycinate. Magnesium glycinate is bound to glycine, which allows it to enter cells easily. It is the only magnesium that has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier, providing excellent benefits to the brain and mood too. The recommended daily dose is 280-500 mg daily.

Balance Boosts Heart Vigor

Source: Ralph Hogaboom on Flickr.

In addition to magnesium, many other factors come into play with heart disease. A diet high in plant foods and low in processed foods is essential for prevention and treatment. Remember, the heart is a muscle and needs regular exercise. Even a brisk 30-minute daily walk is beneficial.

Lastly, stress reduction and mental/emotional wellness are two aspects that cannot be overlooked. More and more research substantiates the mind-body connection when it comes to matters of the heart. There are many excellent books dedicated to all of these subjects. Visit a local library, find a comfortable chair and start researching—and relaxing—today.

Through diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation and mental/emotional health strategies, you can strengthen your heart and pursue a vital, more active life. Read more about heart health.

Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, is Canada’s leading women’s health expert. With degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, she is the author of 10 books including A Smart Woman’s Guide to Heart Health. Visit www.hormonehelp.com and sign up for her free monthly enewsletter.

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