Whenever someone tells me they have heart problems, my first question is "Are you taking enough magnesium?" It doesn't matter if the heart problem is acute myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, heart attack (cardiac arrest), mitral valve prolapse, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, or arrhythmias, magnesium deficiency could be at the root of the problem. That doesn't mean magnesium deficiency is always the problem. But more times than not, magnesium can help.
I have a friend who suffered with a rare heart condition that caused his heart to race and flutter (among other symptoms). No doctor could figure it out. He was on nitroglycerin to make sure he didn't have a heart attack. When I asked him how much magnesium he was taking, he asked, "Why should I take magnesium?" None of his doctors had suggested he take it. So I told him he might consider taking some.
As soon as he started taking magnesium, his heart settled down and his episodes stopped altogether. He was stunned. So were his doctors.
As great as magnesium is for the heart, I've always thought it should be a treatment for angina. Angina, as you may know, is chest pain that occurs when your heart doesn't get enough oxygen. It's essentially a circulation problem. So most people don't think about magnesium helping angina. But it can.
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A study back in 2000 found that magnesium can greatly reduce the coronary spasms associated with vasospastic angina. This was an interesting study because the researchers measured the diameter of the coronary arteries after taking the magnesium. They found that the magnesium caused the coronary arteries to dilate up to 4.7%. Obviously, this would greatly enhance the body's ability to deliver more blood and oxygen to the heart. And this increased blood and oxygen supply greatly reduced the patients' chest pain and coronary spasms.
What's more, 71% of the patients responded to the magnesium treatment!
So if you suffer from angina (or any circulation problem), start by taking more magnesium. Start by taking 500 mg daily and work up to 1,000 mg or bowel tolerance. Taking too much can cause loose stools, as magnesium will relax your bowels. If you experience this, just reduce the dose to a more comfortable level.
As great as magnesium is for your heart, it's not all you can do to reduce angina pain. On Tuesday, I'll show you another way to increase circulation around your heart — and throughout your body.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Teragawa H1, Kato M, Yamagata T, Matsuura H, Kajiyama G. "The preventive effect of magnesium on coronary spasm in patients with vasospastic angina," Chest, 2000 December;118(6):1690-5.