ample, magnesium is essential for insulin release by pancreatic β-cells, and acts as a messenger for insulin action

Magnesium and Heart Health If you're lacking in cellular magne- sium, it can lead to the deterioration of your cellular metabolic function and mitochon- drial function, which in turn can lead to more serious health problems. The scien- tific evidence suggests magnesium is par- ticularly important for your heart health. Moreover, it's very important to have

a proper balance between magnesium and calcium, but few people get enough mag- nesium in their diet these days, while cal- cium tends to be overused and taken in high quantities. Insufficient magnesium tends to trigger muscle spasms, and this has consequenc- es for your heart in particular. This is espe- cially true if you also have excessive cal- cium, as calcium causes muscle contrac- tions.

Magnesium also functions as an elec-

trolyte, which is crucial for all electrical activity in your body. Without electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium and sodi- um, electrical signals cannot be sent or received, and without these signals, your heart cannot pump blood and your brain cannot function properly. As explained by Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the seminal paper "Death by Medicine" in 2003 (identifying modern medicine as a leading cause of death in the U.S.) and the book, "The Magnesium Miracle," your heart has the highest mag- nesium requirement of any organ, specifi- cally your left ventricle. With insufficient amounts of magne-

sium, your heart simply cannot function properly. Hypertension (high blood pres- sure), cardiac arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and sudden cardiac death are all potential effects of magnesium de- ficiency and/or a lopsided magnesium to calcium ratio.

Magnesium Associated With Lower Car- diovascular Disease Risk

According to a systematic review and

meta-analysis published in 2013, "circulat- ing and dietary magnesium are inversely associated with CVD risk." This means the lower your magnesium intake (and the lower the circulating magnesium in your body), the higher your risk for CVD.

• Each 0.2 millimole per liter (mmol/L)

of circulating magnesium was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of CVD

• A 200 milligram per day (mg/d) in- crease in dietary magnesium was associ- ated with a 22 percent lower risk of fatal ischemic heart disease (IHD), but had no significant impact on CVD risk.

The inverse association between di- etary magnesium intake and IHD also leveled out above 250 mg/d The authors noted their finding "sup- ports the need for clinical trials to evaluate the potential role of magnesium in the prevention of CVD and IHD." The Weston A. Price Foundation has also noted that:

"[M]agnesium shines brightest in

cardiovascular health. It alone can fulfill the role of many common cardiac medications: magnesium inhibits blood clots (like aspirin), thins the blood (like Coumadin), blocks calcium uptake (like calcium channel-blocking drugs such as Procardia) and relaxes blood vessels (like ACE inhibitors such as Va- sotec)"

Magnesium May Be Key for Blood Pressure Control

Recent research also suggests magne-

sium may be a key component of blood pressure management. Addressing your high blood pressure is important, as it is a risk factor for both heart disease and stroke. As mentioned, magnesium helps relax and dilate your blood vessels, thereby reducing your blood pressure. In this review, data from 34 clinical

trials involving more than 2,000 partici- pants was evaluated. The studies used dosages of magnesium supplements rang- ing from 240 mg/d to 960 mg/d. Although the association was mild,

they did find that higher magnesium intake was associated with "healthy reductions" in blood pressure. Key findings include:

• A daily dose of 368 mg of magnesium, taken for three months, lowered systolic blood pressure (the upper number in the blood pressure reading) by 2 millimeters of mercury (mm/Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by 1.78 mm/ Hg

• Those who took 300 mg of magnesium per day were able to elevate their circu- lating magnesium levels and lower their

FEBRUARY 2019 19

blood pressure in as little as four weeks

• Higher magnesium intake was associ- ated with improved blood flow

• Benefits of magnesium appeared to be restricted to those who had insufficiency or deficiency in magnesium to begin with, meaning those whose blood pres- sure might have been caused by lack of magnesium.

According to lead author Dr. Yiqing

Song, "Such suggestive evidence indicates that maintenance of optimal magnesium status in the human body may help prevent or treat hypertension."

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