Magnesium: An Essential Mineral for Heart Health Support

Written by: Brilliant Staff

Fact checked by: Kelsey Butler, RDN

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Magnesium is a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body, including supporting heart health. Research suggests that getting enough magnesium may help maintain normal blood pressure, heart rhythm, and cardiovascular function. This article explores the evidence on magnesium and heart health.

How Magnesium Affects Blood Pressure

Research has found that magnesium supplements may help support healthy blood pressure, especially in people who do not get enough magnesium from their diets.

While the reported effects are relatively modest, healthy blood pressure is imperative for heart health. Experts believe magnesium helps relax blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and relieving stress on the heart. It may also help balance hormones that affect blood pressure.

Magnesium and Heart Rhythm

Magnesium plays a role in maintaining normal heart rhythms because it helps control electrolytes in the body.

Research indicates that adequate magnesium levels are essential for normal rhythm, thereby optimizing heart efficiency and performance. By supporting healthy electrolyte balance, magnesium may help maintain regular contractions in the heart.

Recommended Intake of Magnesium

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium:

  • Men age 30 and older: 420 mg per day
  • Women age 30 and older: 320 mg per day

Good dietary sources of magnesium include the following:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
  • Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Soy products like tofu and edamame
  • Some fatty fish like salmon and mackerel

Magnesium is also available as a supplement, usually in the forms of magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium glycinate.

Speak with a healthcare provider before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you take medications or have kidney problems.

Who May Benefit From More Magnesium?

While magnesium is essential for overall health, certain groups may especially benefit from optimizing their magnesium intake. These groups include the following:

  • Adults over 30: Magnesium absorption decreases with age, meaning you may need to ingest more.
  • Those with digestive issues: Digestive issues can impair magnesium absorption.
  • Individuals taking certain medications: Medications including proton pump inhibitors, diuretics, and some diabetes drugs may deplete magnesium levels.
  • Those with heart health concerns: People looking to support overall heart health may benefit from intentional magnesium consumption.
  • Athletes and active individuals: Magnesium losses can increase with heavy sweating during intense exercise.

Paying attention to magnesium intake may be especially prudent for these subgroups. Checking with a doctor and monitoring magnesium status can help determine whether supplementation is beneficial.

Signs of Magnesium Inadequacy

Some signs and symptoms that may indicate you're not getting enough magnesium include the following:

  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nausea and loss of appetite
  • Mental health concerns
  • Blood pressure fluctuations

If you regularly experience any of these symptoms, discuss your magnesium intake and inform your healthcare provider. They can recommend the best dietary sources or supplements to help restore healthy magnesium status.

Concluding Thoughts

Optimizing magnesium levels may benefit blood pressure, heart rhythm, and cardiovascular health, especially for those not getting enough from their diet. Focus first on dietary sources of this essential mineral and consult your doctor about potential supplementation if needed. With its wide-ranging roles in the body, proper magnesium status is an important but often overlooked aspect of supporting overall wellness.


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