By TAP Integrative

Magnesium is essential in many of bodily processes, including those involved in cardiovascular health. It plays an important role in insulin release and regulation, and it modulates vasomotor tone, blood pressure, and peripheral blood flow. Some studies have found that higher levels of magnesium in the blood are associated with lower incidence of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, as well as with decreased carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Increased CIMT is a marker of atherosclerosis and a predictor of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality.

Another way magnesium may affect heart health is by playing a role in coronary artery calcification (CAC). CAC is another marker for atherosclerosis, and it can predict morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease even independently of other risk factors. Research has found that increased blood levels of magnesium are associated with less CAC in patients with chronic kidney disease, but few studies have been done on the general population.

A 2016 study published by a team of Mexican researchers aimed to examine the relationship between magnesium levels in the blood and CAC in a healthy population. They recruited 1,276 subjects between the ages of 30 and 75 years of age who had no symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Using computed tomography, the researchers quantified CAC. After adjusting for variables such as age, smoking status, blood pressure, body mass index and more, the researchers found that the subjects with higher blood magnesium levels had lower CAC. In addition, those in the highest quartile of magnesium levels had 48% lower odds of hypertension and 69% lower odds of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

This study strongly suggests that in a healthy population, low blood levels of magnesium may be associated with not only more coronary artery calcification, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, but also with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Additional studies are needed to determine whether low levels of magnesium can predict coronary atherosclerosis.


Reference:

Posadas-Sánchez R, Posadas-Romero C, Cardoso-Saldaña G, et al. Serum magnesium is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification in the Genetics of Atherosclerotic Disease (GEA) study. Nutr J. 2016;15(1):22.


 

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.