I like to think I know a little bit about vitamins and supplements, my friends, but every once in awhile, there’s something that passes me by! Today, that’s magnesium, which might just be necessary for hearth health.
Magnesium is a pretty important mineral for your body. If you’re deficient, you might experience muscle weakness, unexplained tiredness, eye twitches, muscle spasms and even abnormal heart rhythms. Since most magnesium is stored in your organs and bones, determining a deficiency from a simple blood test isn’t possible. That could be why there’s a suspected widespread deficiency in US adults. As reported by CNN, studies have shown that around just 25 percent of American adults get their recommended daily amount, which is 400 to 420 mg for men and 310 to 320 mg for women (https://www.cnn.com/2014/12/31/health/magnesium-deficiency-health/index.html).
In one study, published in the BMC Medical journal (https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-016-0742-z), researchers examined more than 40 studies with over a million participants to see if there was any link between magnesium intake and heart disease, among other conditions.
Although the researchers did not find a strong association between boosting a magnesium intake over 100 mg daily and someone’s risk of congestive heart disease or cardiovascular disease, they did find something else: When a person’s magnesium intake was increased to over 100 mg daily, they had a 22 percent decrease in heart failure risk and a 7 percent decrease in stroke risk. They also found a link between the increased magnesium intake and a drop of 10 percent in the risk of death from all causes, alongside a 19-percent drop in diabetes risk.
Of course, this analysis was based on observing other studies and isn’t proof of a direct link. More studies are still needed in this area. However, as noted by the researchers, these results support that increasing how much magnesium you get each day could give you overall health benefits, and it is possible it will help keep your heart healthy. Magnesium is mineral, but it also acts as an electrolyte, which is necessary for the electrical activity in your body. Without healthy electrolyte levels, the electrical signals in your body aren’t received or sent properly, and this can impact your muscle, brain and heart function.
Adding more magnesium to your diet is easier than you may think. It’s found in high levels in leafy greens, legumes, nuts and whole grains. If you do decide to use a supplement, make sure you check with your doctor first and follow the directions to avoid taking too much.