Does Dietary Magnesium Lower Hypertension Risk?

HypertensionEveryone is looking for more ways to be healthy. While this is often easiest achieved by taking more medicines, the desire to achieve healthy lifestyle changes is growing. Yes, more and more people are coming to realize that simple changes in diet and exercise can do wonders for the body—at any age—helping to improve health naturally, without the potential risks commonly associated with increased pharmaceutical intake.

And a new study says that dietary magnesium could be a key to lowering blood pressure.

Hypertension—high blood pressure—occurs when the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. Obviously, this is common among the obese (as a larger body puts more exertion on the heart) but it can also be associated with other conditions. Regardless of the cause or reason, hypertension can lead to arterial wall damage and even heart disease. Furthermore, this continual pumping of blood through narrower arteries continues to increase blood pressure, which also increases risk for stroke and heart attack.

The good news, though, is that this study suggests the simple addition of roughly 368 mg of magnesium, taken every day for three months, can reduce overall systolic blood pressure by 2mm HG and overall diastolic blood pressure by 1.78 mm Hg. In fact, just taking 300 mg of magnesium every day for only a month already benefits the body by increasing blood magnesium levels to reduce blood pressure.

“Our findings indicate a causal effect of Mg supplementation on lowering BPs in adults. Further well-designed trials are warranted to validate the BP-lowering efficacy of optimal Mg treatment,” note the researchers. However, they also think that the benefits of magnesium appear to apply, at least for now, only to those individuals who already have a magnesium deficiency.

The researchers, however, think that the benefits of magnesium on blood pressure only apply to those with magnesium deficiency or insufficiency.

The researchers go on to say, “Magnesium supplements could be considered as an option for lowering blood pressure in high-risk persons or hypertension patients.”

According to American Heart Association spokesperson Penny Kris-Etherton also adds, “As clinicians, we need to stress the importance of a well-balanced meal, not only for all the cholesterol lowering and sugar-modulating benefits, but for ensuring an adequate amount of magnesium in the blood.”

The results of this study have been published in the July 11 issue of the journal Hypertension.

 

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