Nearly half of the U.S. population is magnesium deficient, largely due to inadequate dietary intake, certain medications, health conditions and mineral excretion through urination. Seniors, who are more likely to take medications that can cause excessive magnesium loss, are at higher risk of magnesium deficiency. As well, magnesium absorption in the body decreases as we age, resulting in reduced stores of magnesium in the bones, where up to 60 percent of the body’s magnesium is found. Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmias. This correctable deficiency exposes the aging population to an entirely preventable cardiac risk factor.
As an essential mineral, magnesium serves as a cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic processes, including normal heart contractions, blood pressure regulation, blood vessel function, glycemic control and lipid peroxidation, oxidative damage that affects lipoproteins and other lipid containing molecules. A commonly overlooked risk factor for heart disease, inadequate magnesium can affect the healthy functioning of the heart, blood vessels, blood cells and the neuromuscular system. Magnesium deficiency can result in endothelial dysfunction and hypertension, as well as insulin resistance, central to the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Heart rhythm regulation: Low magnesium levels are associated with the development of heart rhythm abnormalities, particularly atrial fibrillation. As magnesium influences the movement of potassium, sodium and calcium across cell membranes, magnesium deficiency is often accompanied by potassium deficiency.
- Hypertension: Magnesium plays a role in arterial smooth muscle contraction. Relaxing the muscles that control blood vessels allows blood to flow more freely, helping to stabilize blood pressure. Evidence indicates that the maintenance of optimal magnesium status may help to better control blood pressure.
- Atherosclerosis: Magnesium deficiency has been shown to play a role in lipoprotein metabolism and may be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis, a cardiac risk factor. Data indicates that a low plasma level of magnesium increases LDL cholesterol concentrations and promotes inflammation. Oral magnesium therapy has been shown to improve endothelial function in individuals with coronary artery disease and may be useful in preventing atherosclerosis.
- Inflammation: Low dietary intake of magnesium is a predisposing factor for chronic low-grade inflammation, a driver of obesity, excessive free radical production and chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.
- Blood sugar regulation: Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can harm blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries. Individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes face an elevated risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Keeping blood sugar, as well as blood pressure, under control is one the best ways to protect heart health.
Other contributing factors for deficiency include magnesium loss during food processing, gastrointestinal disease, type 2 diabetes and excess alcohol consumption. Additional health problems associated with low magnesium levels include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, stress and anxiety, migraine headaches and hormonal imbalance.
The importance of consuming a healthy diet cannot be understated when it comes to overall and cardiovascular health. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium should be considered a nutrient of significant concern for health and wellbeing. Dietary magnesium may be found in foods such as whole grains, beans, almonds, avocados, sweet potatoes and green leafy vegetables. In general, foods high in fiber are good sources of magnesium and should be included in a glycemic friendly, heart friendly diet.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality sources of supplemental magnesium:
Magnesium Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE This proprietary blend of Albion® TRAACS magnesium chelate and malate is designed to support cardiovascular, neuromuscular and bone heath, as well as energy production and healthy glucose metabolism. Free of wheat, gluten, corn, yeast, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, artificial sweeteners and artificial preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.
Mag-Malate by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula provides highly bioavailable chelated magnesium in support of mitochondrial energy production, neuromuscular function and cardiovascular health. Soy free, vegan formulation.
Magnesium Orotate by Priority One®: Magnesium Orotate provides a well absorbed source of magnesium to nutritionally support cardiovascular health. Magnesium supports a relaxed state of wellbeing and promotes women’s natural hormonal balance. Preservative free, Non-GMO formulation.
Tri-Magnesium by NutraBioGenesis®: This formula supplies three highly bioavailable forms of magnesium in support of bone, cardiovascular and neuromuscular health, as well as healthy blood sugar metabolism.
Magnesium Potassium Aspartate with Taurine by Now® Foods: Specifically formulated to support cardiovascular and neuromuscular health, this synergistic formula provides bioavailable chelated forms of magnesium and potassium along with taurine, an amino acid cofactor. Free of sugar, salt, gluten, yeast, corn, soy, wheat and milk.
Magnesium for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000775
Dietary Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review with Emphasis in Epidemiological Studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5852744/
The Link Between Magnesium and Heart Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/heart-health-specialist/magnesium.aspx
Magnesium Supplements May Help to Lower Blood Pressure. https://www.livescience.com/55355-magnesium-blood-pressure.html
Ask the doctors: Can low magnesium level cause an arrhythmia? https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/ask-the-doctors-can-a-low-magnesium-level-cause-an-arrhythmia
Low magnesium and atherosclerosis: an evidence-based link. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12537993
Women: How Controlling Blood Sugar Benefits Your Heart. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/know_your_risks/women-how-controlling-blood-sugar-benefits-your-heart