Low Magnesium Increases Heart Disease

We have known for many years that magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our health, including our heart health. A new study has found that those who are at low risk for heart disease but who have low serum magnesium levels, are at increased risk of coronary artery disease. They examined 34,553 people who were not believed to be at high risk for coronary artery disease based on recognized risk factors and had them undergo a coronary artery calcium scan.  They found that those individuals with low serum magnesium had a higher coronary artery calcium score, even after adjusting for a series of factors, including age, sex, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, etc.

Other studies have shown low magnesium intake to be associated with increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke. And magnesium supplementation has also been shown to be beneficial for patients with heart failure and is given IV in hospital settings for patients suffering acute heart failure and to decrease arrythmias. More than 50% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.

This study used serum magnesium, but it should be pointed out that red blood cell (RBC) magnesium testing is much more accurate than serum levels and often finds even greater percentage of individuals to be low in magnesium.  I highly recommend you consider taking some magnesium daily, since it is such a beneficial mineral and so many of us are low in it.  In addition to heart benefits, magnesium is helpful for bone density, muscle metabolism, muscle cramps and spasms, blood sugar regulation, migraine headaches, anxiety and panic attacks, for forming DNA and RNA, and even reduces constipation. Speak to Dr. Weitz about which form of magnesium might be best for you and how much to take.  Keep in mind that most multivitamins do not contain a lot of minerals, unless you are required to take 6 or 8 tablets per day, because minerals are large.

Lee S, Hyun Y, Lee B, Kim, H. Low serum magnesium is associated with coronary artery calcification in a Korean population at low risk for cardiovascular disease. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. 2015; 25, (11): 1056-1061.


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