Magnesium and Heart Health
Magnesium is a micronutrient that takes part in more than 300 cellular reactions within the body. Despite how important this mineral is, nearly 75 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended intake. In a series of articles, we examine the major body organs and how they are affected by magnesium deficiency. This article addresses whether or not magnesium is good for your heart? And should you be taking a daily supplement?
A 2000 study from Circulation suggests that magnesium is needed for heart health. Half of the patients participating in the study took 365 mg of magnesium twice daily for six months, while the other participants took a placebo. At the end of the study, patients taking magnesium showed better vessel function and their hearts remained less stressed while on the treadmill. Almost 75 percent of the participants were magnesium-deficient when the study began, but most levels rose to normal figures.
Magnesium has multiple positive effects on heart health. Increasing your intake to maintain healthy circulation is a choices many health care professionals recommend. Magnesium may also help the blood vessels relax and relaxation is always good for the body.
How Does Magnesium Affect Heart Rate?
Magnesium and heart rate are closely linked. In fact, magnesium is partially responsible for maintaining a healthy heartbeat. But how, exactly does magnesium affect the heart? Working together with calcium, magnesium generates heart contractions.
Remember, the heart is one big muscle and the calcium is responsible for stimulating the muscle fibers for contraction, while magnesium is needed to help the muscles relax. When your magnesium levels are depleted, the calcium can overstimulate your heart muscles and lead to an irregular or rapid heartbeat.
A 2013 study shows that low magnesium levels can lead to atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder, which occurs when the electrical system of the heart causes the upper chambers to quiver.
Considering that the CDC estimates between 2.7 and 6.1 million people struggle with AFib, it might be wise to start giving magnesium deficiency a closer look.
Are Magnesium Supplements Good For Your Heart?
Studies continue to prove the benefits of magnesium for the heart. It’s been shown that magnesium supplements could improve:
- Congestive heart failure
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular arrhythmia
- Coronary vasospasm
- Oxidative stress and myocardial injury
- Mitral valve prolapse
With all of this in mind, it’s clear to see the vital role that magnesium plays into heart health. If you feel you are magnesium deficient you can work toward optimizing your magnesium levels through proper diet and dietary supplementation.
How Do Magnesium Supplements Optimize Magnesium Levels?
The information posted by the Office of Dietary Supplements shows the correlation between magnesium and heart health. In general, magnesium supplementation has shown promise of lowering blood pressure. There is also a relation between normal magnesium levels and a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death. Magnesium intake can also reduce the chance of stroke.
Sadly, it’s challenging to improve heart health simply by increasing the intake of magnesium-rich foods. Much of the magnesium in today’s soil has been farmed out and hasn’t been replaced, leaving our crops depleted. Those who aren’t getting enough magnesium through their diet may require supplements.
Side Effects And Risks
For many people, adding a magnesium supplement to boost heart health is considered safe. There are a few people who should speak with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement. If you have chronic kidney disease, it’s best to get more advice about magnesium. If you take antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, diuretics or bisphosphonates, you should also seek out more guidance.
Low-quality magnesium supplements can lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. You might experience cramping or diarrhea from a laxative effect. When this occurs, most of the magnesium you’ve taken goes down the drain instead of being absorbed by your body. By using a high-quality liquid supplement, you receive better absorption rates and stomach discomforts are minimized. Taking magnesium in liquid form also allows for more control over the dosage amount.