Why magnesium may be the single most important nutrient you need to take for heart health
03/11/2019 // Edsel Cook // Views

Magnesium can make a good cause for being the most vital nutrient for supporting cardiovascular health -- making it worrisome that almost half of all Americans are deficient when it comes to getting their daily dose of the nutrient.

If you do not have enough magnesium in your body, you can become more prone to various diseases and disorders. Your blood pressure could spike out of control, you have a higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes or colon cancer, and you might even suffer a potentially lethal heart attack early in life.

Low levels of magnesium have been linked to insulin resistance. When insulin stops working effectively, blood glucose levels go out of control, leading to Type 2 diabetes. This is supported by a couple of scientific papers published by researchers at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The studies revealed a connection between magnesium deficiency and C-reactive protein (CRP).

CRP is a protein produced by the liver. The MUSC researchers found that CRP can trigger acute inflammations, a serious risk factor for heart disease. (Related: Magnesium supplements CONFIRMED to sharply reduce bone problems in middle-aged men.)

If you don't get enough magnesium, you're much more likely to suffer acute inflammation

The first MUSC study was conducted in 2005. It drew data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a long-running national study that has gathered health records of Americans since 1959.

The South Carolina researchers examined the diets of Americans from 1999 to 2000. Their subjects were at least 17 years old and did not take magnesium supplements.


Sixty-eight percent of these subjects did not get enough magnesium every day. Nineteen percent failed to get even just half of the nutrient's recommended daily allowance of 310 to 420 milligrams (mg).

Participants who were deficient in magnesium were much more likely to show high levels of CRP in their blood. The risk rate ran from as "low" as 48 percent to a high of 75 percent when compared to people with sufficient nutrition.

Furthermore, subjects who failed to get at least half of the recommended dose of magnesium proved to be more than twice as likely to suffer from high CRP levels. When these proteins get too numerous, serious inflammation takes place.

Get enough magnesium each day to avoid acute inflammation

The second MUSC study evaluated CRP levels in adults who took magnesium supplements every day. It also drew its subjects from the same survey and during the 1999-2002 time period.

Of the 10,024 people covered by the study, a full quarter of them supplemented with varying doses of magnesium on a daily basis. The doses started at 50 mg (which is much less than the recommended daily allowance) and increased from there.

The results of the second study reflected those in the first. It did not seem to matter if the participants got their magnesium from natural food sources or from supplements. If they failed to get at least 310 mg per day, they would be 40 percent more likely to suffer from high CRP levels.

Despite that, supplementation seemed to offer a measure of protection. Twenty-two percent of the participants took magnesium supplements at doses that did not reach the recommended daily allowance. While they remained vulnerable to CRP, they were less prone to display high levels of the protein when compared to people who didn't take supplements.

So how much magnesium is considered to be enough? It depends on the age, gender, and lifestyle of a person. If a man is less than 30, he will need 400 mg every day, while a woman in the same age range will need 310. An older man should get 420 mg, while an older woman ought to have 320 mg each day.

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