Magnesium has hundreds of important functions in the body, from energy production and proper nerve function to muscle relaxation. Studies are mixed about whether its potential heart benefits come from the magnesium itself or from a combination of magnesium and other beneficial nutrients (such as potassium and fiber). Perhaps it’s simply that people who eat a magnesium-rich diet are more health-conscious in general. But there is no question that this important mineral plays a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
How magnesium helps your heart:
- Regulate heart rhythm: Magnesium is important for coordinating the activity of the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate the heartbeat. If your magnesium levels are low, you are more likely to be at risk for arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and heart palpitations.
- Prevent angina: Magnesium helps keep coronary arteries from having spasms, which is what causes intense chest pain known as angina. In fact, a deficiency of magnesium is the most common cause of such arterial spasms.
- Control high blood pressure: Magnesium may play a role in reducing elevated blood pressure because it relaxes muscles. This is an important factor in decreasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Magnesium’s also helps equalize the levels of potassium and sodium in the blood.
- Limit complications of congestive heart failure: Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of arrhythmia. Those with congestive heart failure, a weakened heart, may benefit from getting more of this mineral.
- Reduce the incidence of prediabetes and diabetes and improve insulin resistance: Several important studies have demonstrated that getting insufficient amounts of magnesium increases the risk of metabolic syndrome (prediabetes), type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Low levels are also linked to the development of diabetes complications. A magnesium deficiency can also negatively affect fasting blood glucose and insulin levels in non-diabetic individuals (which often leads to diabetes). I believe, however, that more research is needed on the role of magnesium in diabetes prevention.
Magnesium supplements are the most efficient way to ensure your magnesium levels are healthy. Studies show, that even those who eat a healthy diet, are not getting enough.
One of the best supplements we’ve found is Mag Support by Vatellia Life. This supplement has the distinct advantage of being slowly released into the bloodstream, which helps avoid the stomach discomfort that is common in other magnesium supplements.
If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.