Sunday, June 12, 2011

Low Magnesium Levels Increase Risk of Sudden Death

Magnesium is a mineral that is very important for the body. Unfortunately, research has shown that the majority of Americans do not ingest enough magnesium. Some reports state that 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. What is magnesium needed for?

In fact, there are over 300 enzymes that are dependent on magnesium. Furthermore, magnesium is needed to maintain optimal bone health, as well as cardiac, neurologic, and immune system functioning. Both the thyroid and adrenal glands depend on adequate magnesium for optimal functioning.
I have been checking magnesium levels for nearly 20 years and I am still amazed at how many patients are severely low in magnesium.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2011;93:253-60) found that, in women, the risk of sudden cardiac death was inversely related to magnesium intake and magnesium blood levels. In fact, there was a 37% increase risk of sudden cardiac death in women who had the lowest magnesium levels compared to women who had the highest levels.

Magnesium is an inexpensive mineral. Magnesium is found in unrefined salt, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and nuts. The only side effect with magnesium supplementation is loose stools. This is easily treated by lowering the dose. Average doses of magnesium for supplementation range from 200-600mg/day.


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