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Why You Need More Magnesium Now


If you are deficient in magnesium, you are not alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something about it. In fact, a new study explains why you need more magnesium now if you want to improve your heart health, and there are other reasons as well.

How does magnesium protect your heart?

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains that a deficiency of magnesium is not heart healthy, and that increasing your magnesium intake can provide significant results. In fact, for every 0.2 mmol/L (millimoles per liter) increment increase in magnesium circulating in your bloodstream, you can experience a 30 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.

Increasing your intake of magnesium is not hard to do, especially if you take a supplement. However, before explaining more about magnesium, let’s look at the study’s findings.

The Boston-based researchers reported on their review and meta-analysis of 16 articles on dietary magnesium and cardiovascular disease. A total of 313,041 individuals were involved in the review. Among the subjects, there were a total of 11,995 cases of cardiovascular disease, 7,534 cases of ischemic heart disease (the most common type of heart attack), and 2,686 deaths from ischemic heart disease.

These figures were compared with the intake of dietary magnesium and circulatory magnesium levels. Here’s what the investigators found:

  • For each 0.2 mmol/L increment of circulating magnesium there was a 30 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • A higher level of circulating magnesium was also associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease and fatal ischemic heart disease
  • Dietary magnesium intake was associated with a 22 percent lower risk of ischemic heart disease but was not significantly related to cardiovascular disease

The authors concluded more research is needed to determine the role of magnesium in the prevention of ischemic heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

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Other benefits of magnesium
Another meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012 reported that individuals could reduce their risk of stroke if they increased their magnesium intake. For every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium, the risk of stroke was reduced by about 9 percent, according to the researchers.

The Nutritional Magnesium Council also recently published a report in which A. Rosanoff, PhD, explained the powerful association between low nutritional magnesium and a high calcium-to-magnesium ratio in the cause of cardiovascular disease. Rosanoff noted that magnesium and calcium must be balanced to achieve a healthy ratio, and when this does not occur, the risk of heart disease increases. Individuals should consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider about the optimal calcium and magnesium ratio for their needs.

Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions. You want to be sure you have enough magnesium to facilitate nerve transmission, regulate body temperature, help detoxify the body, produce energy, and form healthy teeth and bones.

If you are a woman of premenopausal or menopausal age, then magnesium can help you get relief from symptoms. Magnesium also plays an important role in parathyroid function, improving muscle function, and preventing osteoporosis, insomnia, hypertension, constipation, migraines, gallstones, and kidneys stones.

Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, fish, green leafy vegetables, and wheat germ. Magnesium supplements are recommended for anyone who does not at least meet the daily recommended allowance (RDA) of 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men.

Are you getting enough magnesium? This latest study emphasizes why you probably need more magnesium now, so check your diet and any supplements you are taking to determine your intake of magnesium.

Del Gobbo LC et al. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013 May 31. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.112.053132

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