Magnesium is an essential mineral that can provide benefits from your head to your toes. But out of all the organs and muscles in your body, your heart may love magnesium the most.
Magnesium is so connected to the heart that in one scientific review, researchers concluded that subclinical magnesium deficiency is a likely driver of cardiovascular disease. The researchers then went on to say that magnesium deficiency should be regarded as a “public health crisis.”
Magnesium deficiency is said to impact one-third to one-half of North Americans, and heart disease is among the top two leading causes of death in North America, it is easy to see how magnesium deficiency and heart disease might be connected. Plus to make matters worse, certain factors such as aging means that our bodies don’t absorb as much of this mineral as we need.
Read on as we explain the intricate relationship that magnesium has with the heart, including how you can use magnesium supplementation to support your heartbeat, healthy blood pressure and blood vessel dilation, blood circulation, and reduction of stress.
The Benefits of Magnesium on the Heart
Magnesium Conducts Electrical Impulses in the Heart
Magnesium, along with calcium, helps to conduct electrical impulses that contract muscles throughout your body, including your heart. It also plays a role in maintaining a normal heartbeat, blood pressure, and heart rhythm.
Magnesium Relaxes Arterial Walls
Magnesium regulates muscle contractions and relaxation throughout the cardiovascular system by ensuring smooth muscle cells produce enough force to keep blood vessels dilated properly, but not so much that they constrict dangerously when required. In one review of six studies spanning 262 participants, flow-mediated dilation of arteries was increased (for more blood flow) at doses ranging from 107 to 750 mg of magnesium per day.
Magnesium Reduces Stress
Did you know that the common symptoms of stress, including: fatigue, irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, gastrointestinal issues, muscle aches, and headaches are also symptoms of magnesium deficiency? Indeed, and some studies show that magnesium reduces stress levels, which means less risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease due to stress-related factors.
Magnesium Reduces High Blood Pressure
Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure by relaxing the muscles in the walls of arteries, allowing them to expand and let more blood flow through. This can reduce stress on your heart. In one review of seven studies it was found that higher magnesium intake was associated with an 8 percent lower risk of hypertension. In studies, doses of magnesium to treat high blood pressure range from 365 to 450 mg per day.
Magnesium Improves Circulation
Magnesium improves circulation by relaxing veins, making it easier for them to return the blood back to your heart. This helps prevent high blood pressure plus improves heart health overall. Another study concluded that women who consumed at least 320 mg of magnesium per day were 40 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease within five years when compared to those consuming 200mg of magnesium per day.
Magnesium and Stroke Risk
A recent review of 14 studies concluded that higher magnesium intake represented a 12% lower risk of stroke. Additionally, each 100 mg increment in daily magnesium intake represented a 7% reduction in the risk of stroke.
The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for supplemental magnesium is 350 mg/day; however, there are some studies on the benefits of magnesium up to 2,000 mg per day. Some forms of magnesium are more bioavailable than others and require lower doses. As such, it is important to discuss your needs with a qualified health practitioner or expert when shopping for a magnesium supplement to support heart health.
A Word on Safety
As you can see, magnesium is essential for so many healthy functions of the heart. It’s a good idea to speak with a qualified health practitioner before beginning a magnesium supplement regime for heart health. Certain conditions may mean that your body absorbs less magnesium and you may require a higher dose. It is also worth pointing out that drug interactions can exist when taking ACE inhibitors (the class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure).
Where To Find A Quality Magnesium
Finding a quality magnesium supplement doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some crowd favourites. Natural Factors Magnesium Citrate is a top-selling supplement that’s available in capsule form of naturally derived magnesium. Can Prev Magnesium Bis-Glycinate 200 Gentle is a favoured magnesium bis-glycinate supplement that’s highly absorbable yet gentle on the gastrointestinal tract. Lastly, Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate powder is preferred by those who enjoy powdered supplements as it easily dissolves in water and comes in many delicious flavours.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.