Did you know…that a lack in the essential mineral magnesium can significantly increase your risk of heart disease?
Every cell and organ in your body depends on magnesium—your teeth, your bones, your heart, your brain—and a lack of magnesium leaves you vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s… and a host of other chronic, debilitating and deadly diseases.
According to medical experts, 80% of Americans magnesium deficient.
Epidemic magnesium deficiency is cause for alarm. Soil depletion, contaminated water, and overly processed food make it increasingly difficult to ensure adequate magnesium consumption.
We must also account for the toll that stress takes on our magnesium levels. Stress triggers magnesium use, and if stress is not managed, magnesium loss and an imbalance in essential minerals are sure to follow.
Additionally, a growing body of evidence is pointing to low magnesium in the body as a primary risk factor of heart disease.
The Connection between Magnesium and Your Heart
The importance of magnesium to heart health has been acknowledged since the 1930s, when doctors prescribed magnesium to patients with heart disease.
One of the reasons that having low magnesium is so deadly is that the highest concentrations of magnesium are found in your heart and in your brain.
Atherosclerosis recently published a study that showed that low serum magnesium levels not only significantly contributed to cardiovascular mortality, but also led to higher all-cause mortality among study participants. Prior research substantiated such findings:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study confirming that women with the highest magnesium levels had a significantly lower risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Results from a similar 15-year study indicated that individuals with the highest blood levels of magnesium had a 40% lower risk of SCD than those with the lowest magnesium levels.
Magnesium impacts heart health by preventing blood clotting, improving blood vessel dilation, and suppressing dangerous heart rhythms.
When there is low magnesium in the heart muscle, your heart cannot sustain the energy it needs to beat regularly. Magnesium deficiency can lead to disorders in heart rhythms, increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack.
The Relationship Between Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium and calcium have a synergistic relationship, especially when it comes to their role in heart health. Calcium enters the cells only long enough to perform its function, and is then escorted out by magnesium.
If there is an inadequate amount of magnesium in the cell, calcium will overstay its welcome. If calcium is allowed to accumulate, then calcification, dysfunction, and cell death are certain to occur.
Excess calcium can also cause muscles to sustain contraction, resulting in tics and twitches. If the issue isn’t resolved and becomes chronic, heart disease in the form of angina pectoris, hypertension, and arrhythmia may develop.
Maintaining Magnesium Levels in Your Body
To make sure you’re not one of the 80% who are deficient in this essential mineral, be sure to eat plenty of dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and Swiss chard. Nuts such as almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also high in magnesium, as are wheat bran, legumes, and whole unrefined grains.
Other magnesium-rich foods include:
- Dried herbs
- Watermelon seeds
- Dark chocolate cocoa powder
- Flax seeds
- Brazil nuts
You may also choose to supplement with a magnesium citrate or magnesium malate supplement.
Experts caution that if you experience diarrhea—a sign that the magnesium is not being adequately absorbed—you should modify your dosage or supplement with magnesium taurate or magnesium glycinate, which have been chelated to an amino acid. You can even soak up magnesium through your pores by relaxing in a bath of Epsom salts, which are naturally high in magnesium sulfate.