Magnesium is the seventh most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, the fourth most in the body, and it is vital for the functioning of over 300 enzymes in humans.
Is magnesium good for the heart? This article will answer this question for you.
Studies suggest that magnesium deficiency is widespread worldwide and one of the leading causes of chronic diseases, including heart-related diseases. They even call it a public health crisis.
Unquestionably, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and heart rhythm disturbances are equally critical for our heart’s health.
Usually, doctors prescribe medications for each particular problem.
Therefore, a person suffering from heart disease may need to take numerous medications at the same time.
The problem is that this may bring forth other medical issues from the side effects of the prescribed medications.
Presently, the research on omega-3, Vitamin D, antioxidants and B vitamins, etc. for heart health looks promising. However, one particular trend has already been proven – low magnesium levels are connected to heart disease.
So, Is Magnesium Good For The Heart?
There are noticeable differences in the risk of heart disease in different countries and other parts of the same country, all of which are positively associated with regional differences in water magnesium levels.
If your diet is rich in vegetables, seeds, fruits, nuts, and whole grains, you will likely not have problems with magnesium levels since these foods contain plenty of magnesium.
This is a significant reason why such a diet is recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In studies with animals, it was discovered that adding magnesium to their drinking water lessened their chances of heart disease. Studies on humans showed the same thing – low levels of magnesium correlated to higher heart disease.
Magnesium is also vital for maintaining optimal potassium levels, and it, in turn, is necessary for normalizing heart rate.
One study says the following about magnesium:
- “Magnesium is essential for man and is required in relatively large amounts… it is essential for many crucial physiological functions, such as heart rhythm, vascular tone, nerve function and muscle contraction and relaxation.”
When you are deficient in magnesium, it will affect your heart rhythm, which can wreak havoc on your heart.
Hypomagnesemia is when you are deficient in magnesium. Some signs of hypomagnesemia related to the heart are:
- cardiac arrhythmia
- abnormal heartbeat
- coronary spasms
For muscle contraction to be possible, calcium levels in the cells must rise. This process highly depends on the availability of magnesium.
If magnesium is lacking, the ability of smooth and cardiac muscles is diminished.
As a result, the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and sudden constriction of the heart increases. And this raises the risk of coronary diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
How Else Is Magnesium Good For The Heart?
It Can Control “3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase” (HMG-CoA reductase)
HMG-CoA reductase is an enzyme that regulates cholesterol production.
Magnesium has a similar effect to that of prescribed statin drugs. The problem is that statins not only suppress cholesterol production but also block the action of HMG-CoA reductase.
This means that a significant adverse reaction to statins is oxidative stress due to the inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase. Oxidative stress can and does cause many diseases, including cardiovascular ones.
On the other hand, magnesium has the uncanny ability to distinguish between these processes and can control rather than inhibit HMG-CoA reductase when required.
Another troublesome side effect of statins is that they lower testosterone levels.
Magnesium does the exact opposite. It increases testosterone.
Magnesium Is Anti-Inflammatory
Magnesium is anti-inflammatory. A deficiency in this essential mineral influences chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, increasing the body’s overall inflammation level.
Scientists conducted an experiment on 14 postmenopausal women to determine if they were given 33% less magnesium than the RDA would affect their glucose, cholesterol, and electrolyte metabolism, eventually leading to disease.
The study concluded that magnesium depletion causes cardiac arrhythmias, increased blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and a host of other health problems.
Magnesium is not only adequate for inflammation but also overall immunity. As such, both contribute to the health of your heart.
Is Magnesium Good For The Heart In Connection With Stress?
Scientists linked Type A personality people to lower magnesium status. When confronted with psychological stress, Type A’s showed an increase in catecholamines and cortisol (two hormones made by the adrenal gland), which lowers magnesium levels and increases cardiovascular disease risk compared to Type B personality people.
Type A personalities are competitive, time urgent, and aggressive, are continually stressed out, and have a higher risk of heart disease.
Magnesium supplementation can decrease the effects of chronic stress and, in turn, lower your risk of heart disease.
Recommended Daily Allowance For Magnesium (RDA)
To maintain optimal overall health, science recommends the following:
- 420 mg/day for adult men
- 320 mg/day for adult women
Great natural sources of magnesium: (Source, Table 1)
Per Mg mg/100 g:
- Pumpkin seeds (dried) 592
- Flaxseed 392
- Sesame seeds, roasted 356
- Almonds, raw 270
- Cashew nuts, roasted 260
- Walnuts 158
- Pistachio nuts, roasted 109
- Peanuts, roasted 178
- Cod, cooked 133
- Salmon, cooked 122
- Buckwheat flour 251
- Amaranth grain 248
- Quinoa grain 197
- Oats 177
- Spelt 136
- Barley 133
For example, you can eat a bowl of oatmeal and some peanuts throughout the day, and you will get plenty of magnesium to satisfy the RDA.
Magnesium In Supplement Form
You can also take magnesium in supplement form. Although I provided you with the RDA above, another way to measure how much magnesium to take daily is calculated as 5 mg/kg/day (5 milligrams for each kilo of your body weight per day).
It also depends on many other factors to determine if more or less is needed. It would be best if you spoke to your doctor to ultimately decide whether you need more or less than the RDA.
Here are some of the factors that may change the RDA for you:
- Nutrient-Nutrient Interactions
- Special Populations
- Intake of Magnesium
- Food and Water Sources of Magnesium
- Intake from Supplements
The scientific evidence presented here clearly answers the question, “Is magnesium good for the heart?”
Is magnesium good for the heart? The evidence is evident that it is.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the health of your heart. Try to include plenty of nuts, seeds, legumes, whole-grain cereals, leafy vegetables, or water as a natural source of magnesium.
If you cannot do this, then do not hesitate to take it in a supplemental form.
Follow the RDA guidelines or your doctor’s advice if there is a legitimate reason to take more or less magnesium.