Magnesium and Heart Disease
Magnesium deﬁciency is very common in people with heart disease. I see it all the time in my clients who have angina, heart palpitations, heart arrhythmias, hypertension, blood clotting, and poor circulation. In some hospitals where doctors understand the importance of magnesium, it is administered immediately for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmia. Like any other muscle, the heart stays in a flexible, relaxed state when it has enough magnesium.
It seems pretty straightforward that magnesium should be used for any heart symptoms, but there is still an ongoing debate in the medical community about whether magnesium has a place in the treatment of heart disease. Part of the problem is that there is no accurate blood test for magnesium.
Only one percent of the total magnesium in the body is located in the blood stream, and that amount is kept at a standard level by several checks and balances orchestrated by the body. That means, as your blood magnesium goes down, your body pulls magnesium out of your bones and tissues. If it goes too high, you lose magnesium through your urine or bowels. So, when a doctor dips into your blood and does a blood magnesium test, it's usually going to look normal. And because
magnesium levels always seem to be normal it's not even a routine test in most hospitals.
A better test is a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test which can give you an indication of magnesium at the cellular level. But cells only contain about 40 percent of the body's magnesium. A slightly better test is an ExaTest. This test uses tissue scrapings from under your tongue which are then examined under an electron microscope. It's available through
naturopaths and chiropractors. But even that test is not as precise as the research-only blood test for ionized magnesium. This test measures blood levels of free magnesium that is not bound to other minerals or to protein. I do hope this test will be made more available to practitioners so they can be more accurate in their diagnosis of magnesium deficiency.
When doctors do research on magnesium, they test this simple mineral on the "worst of the worst" and if it doesn't prevent mortality and morbidity in heart arrhythmia and heart attack it is dismissed as insignificant. Of course, these doctors are missing the point that magnesium is a necessary mineral for the integrity of the heart muscle and the smooth muscle
of blood vessels.
To expect it to bring people back from the dead is unrealistic
and may even be a subtle way of sidelining magnesium and its benefits in favor of drug therapy. My advice, and that of a growing number of my nutrition-oriented medical colleagues, is for you to take magnesium on a daily basis to protect your heart—and the rest of your body—so you don't end up with magnesium deficiency symptoms that can land you in
Dr. Carolyn Dean
The Magnesium Miracle