Magnesium – The Heart’s Bodyguard

Magnesium, the super mineral, is known to have a great effect on cramping or twitching muscles. The heart is also “only” a muscle and magnesium ensure that it always stays nice and relaxed and never cramps. At the same time, magnesium supports the regulation of blood pressure and is involved in the maintenance of blood vessels. In short: magnesium is the bodyguard of the heart.

Heart attacks don’t spare vegetarians either

Annette was not at all the image of a typical heart attack victim: she was neither overweight, nor did she smoke, nor was she, at 56, the “right” age to have a heart attack. She didn’t have a permanently red pear and she wasn’t prone to aggression either. In fact, it wasn’t even males, because men are still more likely to have heart attacks than women.

In reality, she was slim, calm-tempered, and had been on a low-fat vegetarian diet for years—and had just survived a heart attack. In the meantime, she could hardly contain her displeasure when acquaintances tried to convince her of special heart diets, such as Dr. Dean Ornish’s special diet for heart attack patients. This is exactly the diet she had followed for the past few years – to prevent a heart attack.

Heart attack despite the best cholesterol levels

Annette had always been extremely proud of her exemplary cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, they were of no use to her. Her blood pressure is said to be the culprit, at least according to her doctor. He had explained to her that he was too high and had therefore given her her heart attack.

Now she was suffering from the aftermath of the heart attack. Worst of all was her fear of getting another one. Her heart was pounding nervously in her chest, muscles ached all over her body, she hardly slept even though she was dead tired, and the numerous medications she had been prescribed seemed to be sucking the already scarce energy out of her. She hardly dared to move and grew weaker and weaker. She was well on the way to becoming invalid.

Heart attack due to magnesium deficiency

Annette’s cardiologist was appalled at the exhausted and weakened appearance she dragged herself into his practice. He immediately ordered some blood tests, but they were of little concern. A young resident suggested measuring Annette’s magnesium levels – and it hit the mark. The results were catastrophic.

Annette suffered from an extreme magnesium deficit. She was given oral magnesium supplements and sent home. Within 24 hours of taking the magnesium, Annette felt the first effects of the mineral. She could sleep! What a blessing. Her muscle pain stopped, her palpitations subsided and, almost miraculously, she was able to reduce her medication.

Her doctor changed his mind when he saw how abnormally Annette reacted to the magnesium and wondered aloud whether the primary trigger for Annette’s heart attack was not the magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon

Cardiovascular diseases are still the No. 1 cause of death in Germany. Around 350,000 people die every year from heart attacks, thrombosis, strokes, heart failure, etc.

The average diet contains insufficient amounts of magnesium. Since many factors of modern life also contribute to a higher depletion of magnesium and medications that lead to increased excretion of magnesium (e.g. medication for high blood pressure) are often administered at the same time, magnesium deficiency is no longer a rarity.

Magnesium deficiency makes the heart suffer

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions throughout the body, which is why a chronic magnesium deficiency inevitably has health consequences – especially for the heart.

Help heart attack!

The coronary arteries, which distribute the oxygen-filled blood in the heart, branch out and become smaller and smaller. Ultimately, their diameter is only fractions of a millimeter. Unfortunately, deposits tend to form on the walls of these tiny blood vessels. There is no consensus as to why this is happening.

The smallest injuries to the blood vessels (e.g. due to an infection, vitamin deficiency, viruses, etc.) – according to one of the main theses – could lead to cholesterol, fatty acids, and calcium forming a kind of plaster to close the blood vessels in the injured or brittle areas kitten. The calcium results in a very hard “plaster” that causes the blood vessels, which are already narrow, to become narrower and narrower.

As a result, blood pressure rises to pump the required amount of blood through the hardened and narrowed capillaries.

Now a tiny blood clot or a spasm of the vascular wall muscles is enough to clog the blood vessels or cause them to collapse. The heart attack is here. Magnesium can prevent it.

Magnesium can prevent heart attack

Magnesium helps the heart and the blood vessels in almost every “nook and cranny”:

  • Magnesium stimulates the build-up of elastin. Elastin is the substance that makes blood vessel walls (and many other tissues) elastic. If there is a lack of magnesium, there is also a lack of elastin and the blood vessel walls become brittle, which in turn leads to inflammation.
  • Magnesium promotes the healing of tissues and thus also the healing of injured or brittle blood vessel walls.
  • Magnesium prevents calcium and cholesterol from turning into hard deposits. When the right balance of calcium and magnesium arrives in the diet, magnesium triggers certain transport proteins to carry the excess calcium to the bones. However, if magnesium is missing and the healthy ratio between calcium and magnesium shifts in favor of calcium, then too many free calcium ions swim in the blood and nobody cares that they get into the bones. The “free” calcium now reacts with fatty acids and cholesterol to form the feared deposits. These deposits can usually be removed again with the help of magnesium (and an alkaline diet).
  • Magnesium inhibits the formation of blood clots.
  • Magnesium prevents cramps (whether in the leg or in the muscles of the blood vessel walls).
  • Magnesium lowers blood pressure because only magnesium relaxes the artery wall muscles.

Magnesium saves lives

Due to the extreme influence of magnesium on heart health, scientists at Harvard Medical School have now carried out a study that should prove how important magnesium is in reducing the risk of death from sudden cardiac death. The study looked at more than 88,000 women over a 30-year period, examining their diet and lifestyle habits.

Special attention was paid to the magnesium content of their diet and it was found that those women with the highest magnesium consumption were also equipped with the greatest protection against sudden cardiac death. The authors of the study concluded that 291 women (from the study group) would have died of sudden cardiac death if their diet had not been so rich in magnesium.

Magnesium protects against sudden cardiac death

The results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provide similarly positive evidence that women eating a particularly magnesium-rich diet are less likely to have a fatal heart attack than women eating a “normal” diet.

The risk of cardiac death in “magnesium women” is reduced by 41 percent. The scientists concluded: “In this study, higher plasma magnesium concentrations as a result of a magnesium-rich diet were associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death. If the observed association is indeed causal, as suspected, increasing magnesium levels could suffer sudden cardiac death significantly.”

Why Annette suffered a heart attack

Consequently, a magnesium-rich diet can dramatically improve your chances of avoiding heart problems or surviving a heart attack. It is therefore preferable to choose foods rich in magnesium, e.g. B. Amaranth, quinoa, seaweed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, and almonds.

At this point, it also becomes clear why Annette could suffer a heart attack due to a lack of magnesium, although she had followed a specialist’s heart diet. The one from Dr. Ornish’s touted diet is extremely low in fat. Only 10 percent of your daily calorie intake should be in the form of fat.

This means all nuts, almonds, and oilseeds are prohibited. However, these foods in particular contain an extremely large amount of magnesium. This shows that a vegetarian diet is not always and automatically healthy and good – especially not when it is less based on nature and more on scientific results.

The magnesium content in food decreases

The main source of magnesium in modern life is grain. Apart from the fact that it still contains significantly less magnesium than the foods mentioned above, cereals are now preferably consumed in the form of flour.

However, since magnesium is mainly found in the germ of the grain, white flour products are understandably low in magnesium. In addition, there is modern agriculture, which, due to the use of synthetic fertilizers, leads to a reduction in the magnesium content of our cereals and vegetables. In the last 100 years, the methods of industrial agriculture are said to have led to a magnesium loss of up to 75 percent.

Magnesium Deficiency: How Much Magnesium Do I Need?

The minimum recommended daily amount of magnesium is 320 milligrams for women, while men need at least 420 milligrams. With the usual modern way of life, this minimum is rarely achievable. However, a minimum might be sufficient for a healthy person, for a person with health problems such as B. arteriosclerosis, problems with blood sugar levels, or increased stress but in no case.

Up to 1000 milligrams of magnesium or even more can be needed per day and for months to correct a long-standing magnesium deficiency. So if you think that you cannot reliably cover your magnesium requirements even with a magnesium-rich diet, then natural dietary supplements can help you.

The Sango sea coral, for example, consists of a naturally grown mineral complex that contains the two minerals magnesium and calcium in a ratio of 1:2, which is optimal for humans.

Take magnesium in small portions

Also keep in mind that the higher the dosage of the dietary supplements, the less magnesium the body uses. So if you were to take 1000 milligrams at once, your body would only absorb half of the magnesium. However, if you take 5 times 200 milligrams, then he can use 75 percent of it each time. Therefore, divide your total daily dose into several portions.

What to consider when taking medication

If you take medication and decide to supplement your diet with magnesium supplements, you may suddenly feel unwell and experience new symptoms that you were previously unaware of.

Her body suffered from magnesium deficiency, which led to various symptoms such as B. high blood pressure. You were given medication for these symptoms (without knowing that the symptoms were due to magnesium deficiency). The drugs lowered blood pressure.

If you take magnesium now, it could be that this now regulates blood pressure. However, because you are still taking your blood pressure medicines, they lower your blood pressure even further. So now you are suddenly suffering from the symptoms of low blood pressure. This is of course just an example.

However, as a precaution, if you are taking medication, talk to your doctor or therapist about taking magnesium so that you can adjust the dose of the medication together if necessary.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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