Originally published November 4 2009
How magnesium prevents heart disease
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Magnesium may be the most under-rated minerals in human nutrition. It's not only pivotal in preventing heart disease, it also prevents diabetes by helping the body properly regulate sugar metabolism. There are perhaps a thousand benefits for magnesium in the human body, and yet most people are magnesium deficient!
Here, we present a fascinating collection of supporting quotes and states about magnesium that we've researched from some of the top health books ever published. Enjoy this collection -- and boost your magnesium intake!
The benefits of magnesium in treating heart disease include the well known decrease in ischemic heart disease and sudden death found in communities drinking hard water (magnesium containing), powerful prevention of platelet clumping (clot prevention) known to be caused by magnesium, strong blood vessel dilating properties of magnesium, and effective action to block dangerous heart rhythms in persons taking magnesium. The decrease in number of heart attacks probably resulted from the magnesium in Bufferin.
- Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus
Magnesium calms the nerves. As this mineral mediates digestive processes, a lack is associated with many eating-related problems, including vomiting, indigestion, cramps, flatulence, abdominal pain, and constipation. When under stress, we use up much magnesium. Chocolate cravings may be a sign of magnesium deficiency, because chocolate is high in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been implicated in depression, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and menopausal symptoms. Natural sources of magnesium include dark, leafy vegetables, sea vegetables, and whole grains.
- Gary Null's Power Aging by Gary Null
Since food processing refines out a very large portion of magnesium, most Americans are not getting the RDA of magnesium. What is the result of this low dietary magnesium? Low levels of magnesium in the diet and our bodies increase susceptibility to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney stones, cancer, insomnia, PMS, and menstrual cramps. Magnesium's role in preventing heart disease and kidney stones is the most widely accepted. Individuals dying suddenly of heart attacks have been shown to have very low levels of magnesium in their heart.
- The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.
In addition, while inorganic magnesium salts often cause diarrhea at higher dosages, organic forms of magnesium generally do not. In general, magnesium is very well tolerated. Magnesium supplementation can sometimes cause a looser stool, particularly magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), hydroxide, or chloride. Magnesium supplementation must be used with great care in patients with kidney disease or severe heart disease (such as high-grade atrioventricular block).
- Textbook of Natural Medicine 2nd Edition Volume 2 by Michael T. Murray, ND
If you are a heart patient concerned about magnesium, have your doctor monitor levels in your red blood cells, Dr. Sueta suggests. "If your levels are low, you know for sure you're low in magnesium. And if your levels are borderline, you still are probably low in magnesium," she says. You can have normal levels of magnesium, however, and still be low enough to have magnesium deficiency-related heart problems, she adds. If you have kidney problems or heart disease, it's important to take magnesium supplements only under medical supervision.
- Prevention's Healing With Vitamins : The Most Effective Vitamin and Mineral Treatments for Everyday Health Problems and Serious Disease by The Editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books
Magnesium is abundant in foods such as wheat bran, almonds, and tofu, but most Americans do not get enough magnesium from food. Magnesium is of particular importance to women, who often suffer magnesium deficiencies. Postmenopausal women, who are especially likely to be low in magnesium, are more vulnerable to dangerous blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease in women, low levels of magnesium contribute to another major health problem: osteoporosis.
- Earl Mindell's Supplement Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Hundreds of NEW Natural Products that Will Help You Live Longer, Look Better, Stay Heathier, ... and Much More! by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.
Many patients with CHF have a magnesium deficiency. The level of magnesium in the blood correlates with the ability of the heart muscle to manufacture enough energy to beat properly. Many disorders of heart rhythm are related to an insufficient level of magnesium in the heart muscle. CoQ10 is an important natural prescription for all types of heart disease. Carnitine improves cardiac function in patients with congestive heart failure.
- Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D.
An alternative approach is to use magnesium supplements, because calcium and magnesium both compete for the same receptor sites in smooth muscle. When calcium lands in those sites it induces spasm, but magnesium doesn't. If high enough levels of magnesium are maintained in the blood, the magnesium will land in those sites in place of the calcium and prevent the spasms in the same way that calcium blockers do. This supports the idea that magnesium supplements can play a role in preventing heart disease.
- Intelligent Medicine: A Guide to Optimizing Health and Preventing Illness for the Baby-Boomer Generation by Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.
Experts estimate that 25 percent of people with diabetes are low in the mineral magnesium. The problem is even worse in those who have diabetes-related heart disease or a type of eye damage known as retinopathy. Since low levels of magnesium have been linked to damage to the retinas, it's likely that upping your intake of this mineral may help protect your eyes. Good sources of magnesium include baked halibut, which contains 91 milligrams of magnesium per 3-ounce serving, 23 percent of the DV.
- Prevention's New Foods for Healing: Capture the Powerful Cures of More Than 100 Common Foods by Prevention Magazine
Even in apparently healthy senior citizens, it is usually deficient. Magnesium is especially important for men, because a deficiency can cause the arteries of the heart to spasm, resulting in a heart attack. Epidemiological studies have shown that areas with low magnesium in the water supply have a higher incidence of heart disease. Deficiency can occur from decreased intake of foods rich in magnesium, eating foods depleted of magnesium due to poor farming techniques, decreased absorption, and disorders and medications that impair magnesium absorption.
- Total Wellness: Improve Your Health by Understanding and Cooperating with Your Body's Natural Healing Systems by Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.
Some controversy exists over the calcium/magnesium ratio, and a few sources recommend equal amounts of calcium and magnesium or even twice as much magnesium as calcium. I have often recommended twice as much calcium as magnesium, but I currently prefer using equal amounts of both. I recommend up to twice as much magnesium as calcium for treating atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances, spastic colon, nervous irritability, high blood pressure, and dry skin not helped by essential fatty acids or improved fat absorption.
- Optimal Wellness by Ralph Golan, M.D.
Excess vitamin D may lead to magnesium deficiency. Antibiotics, antidepressants, estrogen and heart drugs can all affect magnesium levels. Diuretics are a major cause of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium salts may decrease the absorption of other drugs taken at the same time such as digoxin, tetracycline, iron and phenytoin. People with kidney problems and some heart diseases should not take large doses of magnesium.
- The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley
Of the minerals inside the cell, all are vitally important, but magnesium has a role that permits perpetuity of function, and the lack of it will impact a cell's efficiency and duration of its useful life. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions concerning protein, starch, and fat metabolism. Blood sugar regulation could benefit from additional availability of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency in the body is a very serious unrecognized problem. Hard water is a good source of magnesium. People who drink hard water seem to be less prone to heart disease and irregular heartbeat.
- Obesity Cancer & Depression: Their Common Cause & Natural Cure by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj
Through the years the best information about magnesium has come from renowned magnesium researchers Dr. Mildred Seelig, and Dr. Jean Durlach. Seelig has watched, observed and researched every phase of life affected by magnesium. In this book we have written about magnesium's effect on birth, life and aging, sexuality, menopause, osteoporosis, various illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease prevention. We have seen how easily many diseases can be cured or avoided when we bring sufficient attention to our magnesium needs.
- Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus
With preeclampsia, pregnant women can develop convulsions, nausea, dizziness, and headaches; in hospitals, this is treated with magnesium infusions. Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the heart muscle. Those who die from heart attacks usually have very low magnesium but high calcium levels in their heart muscles. Patients with coronary heart disease who had been treated with large amounts of magnesium had a better survival rate than patients who had received drugs.
- The Natural Way to Heal: 65 Ways to Create Superior Health by Walter Last
We suspect that magnesium is another mineral that offers more benefits to health than realized by nutritionists, who've long considered magnesium as essential to the nervous system. It's also a part of some key enzyme systems. It's possible, though, that magnesium has an important role in preventing heart disease. Low levels of the mineral have been linked to higher risk of heart attack. What's more, magnesium is found in bone, raising concern that a healthy intake of the mineral may help in the war against osteoporosis, too.
- The Healing Foods: The Ultimate Authority on the Curative Power of Nutrition by Patricia Hausman & Judith Benn Hurley
In addition to preventing atherosclerosis, magnesium promotes dilation of blood vessels and improves the functioning of the heart muscle. While taking extra magnesium by mouth may help prevent heart disease from developing, magnesium injections are usually necessary once the disease is already established. Fortunately, intramuscular or intravenous magnesium therapy is of great benefit in many cases. As early as 1958, a South African physician reported that patients frequently responded to magnesium injections in a "dramatic and almost unbelievable manner . . .
- Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness: The Patient's Guide to Health and Healing by Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. and Alan R. Gaby, M.D.
The widespread shortage of magnesium, not calcium, in the western diet is attributed to the high rates of sudden-death heart attack. Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the heart muscle. Those who die from heart attacks have very low magnesium but high calcium levels in their heart muscles. Patients with coronary heart disease who have been treated with large amounts of magnesium survived better than those with other drug treatments. Magnesium dilates the arteries of the heart and lowers cholesterol and fat levels.
- Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus
Chocolate contains large amounts of magnesium, and a craving for chocolate may be an indicator of a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium by itself can cause diarrhea, so unless you are constipated, be sure to take it in a multivitamin, in combination with calcium, or in the form of magnesium glycinate, gluconate, or citrate. You can take 300 to 400 mg of magnesium daily as a supplement.
- Bottom Line's Prescription Alternatives by Earl L. Mindell, RPh, PhD with Virginia Hopkins, MA
Although the mechanism is unclear, magnesium supplements (430 mg per day) lowered cholesterol in a South American study. Others have reported that magnesium deficiency is associated with a low HDL cholesterol level. Intravenous magnesium has reduced death following heart attacks in some, but not all, studies. Though these outcomes would suggest that people with high cholesterol levels should take magnesium supplements, an isolated trial reported that people with a history of heart disease assigned to magnesium supplementation experienced an increased number of heart attacks.
- The Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine by Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC
Decreases in magnesium intake have been more prevalent in our American diet with additions of supplemental vitamin D and calcium, dietary phosphorus, and refined or processed carbohydrate foods. Drinking soft water decreases magnesium intake, while diuretic drugs cause magnesium loss, as do alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Decreased blood and tissue levels of magnesium have been shown to be related to high blood pressure, kidney stones, heart disease and, particularly, heart attacks due to coronary artery spasm (magnesium helps relax and dilate coronary arteries).
- Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine by Elson M. Haas, M.D.
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