Magnesium and Heart Disease
A review of cardiovascular disease research studies dating back to 1937 finds that low magnesium levels are a chief predictor of heart disease.
Scientist Andrea Rosanoff, PhD, who conducted the review, which has been ongoing for over 10 years, says, “Numerous studies have found low magnesium to be associated with all known cardiovascular risk factors, such as cholesterol and high blood pressure, arterial plaque build-up, hardening of the arteries, and the calcification of soft tissues.”
“Additionally, after decades of rising dietary calcium intake not balanced with rising dietary magnesium intake, and a population wherein a majority of US adults are not getting their daily magnesium requirement, dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios are on the rise,” says Rosanof. Adding to the problem is the fact that calcium supplements are often not properly balanced with magnesium.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, and Medical Advisory Board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association, adds, “Heart disease is still the number one killer in America in spite of over two decades of statin use. The fact that low levels of magnesium are associated with all the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease—hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart arrhythmia, angina and heart attack—can no longer be ignored.”
Ashley Koff, RD, celebrity dietitian, Prevention magazine advisory board member and founder of AKA (AshleyKoffApproved.com) lists, states, “In the last decade, magnesium rightfully has received greater attention as a critical nutrient for optimal health. This review secures magnesium, and correcting levels of magnesium intake, as one of the most critical health recommendations today. There are many challenges to achieving adequate intake of magnesium in the modern diet; thus I consider magnesium part of the essential nutrients to supplement daily.”
“Magnesium is essential for helping regulate metabolism, and it helps lower blood pressure and dilate arteries,” says Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show. He adds, “Three out of every four of you watching [the show] right now . . . are not getting the amount of magnesium that you need. You are magnesium deficient.”
How Much Magnesium?
How much magnesium is enough? The World Health Organization recommends 400–500 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily. Dr. Dean recommends “a 1:1 balance of calcium with magnesium, while also taking into account the amount of calcium people get in their daily diets.” She also says, “Add low doses of vitamin D and incorporate vitamin K2, and all of these measures combined will protect your bones as well as your heart.”
A complete downloadable copy of Dr. Rosanoff’s paper, along with reference appendices, is available here.