Low magnesium levels have been found to be the best predictor of heart disease, contrary to the traditional belief that cholesterol or saturated fat play the biggest roles.
Research scientist Andrea Rosanoff, PhD., and her colleagues conducted a detailed review of cardiovascular disease research, using studies dating back to 1937. The current review is based upon work that was started by Midred Seelig, MD, who studied the link between magnesium and cardiovascular disease for more than 40 years.
Previous research has revealed low magnesium to be linked with all known cardiovascular risk factors like:
- high blood pressure
- arterial plaque build-up
- calcification of soft tissues
- hardening of the arteries
This implies that the real culprit of cardiovascular disease has been low magnesium levels, while historically, experts have blamed a high-saturated fat diet and high cholesterol.
Dr. Rosanoff said:
“By 1957 low magnesium was shown to be, strongly, convincingly, a cause of atherogenesis and the calcification of soft tissues. But this research was widely and immediately ignored as cholesterol and the high saturated-fat diet became the culprits to fight. Ever since this early ‘wrong turn’, more and more peer-reviewed research has shown that low magnesium is associated with all known cardiovascular risk factors, such as cholesterol and high blood pressure.”
Decades of elevated calcium intake have not been balanced with increasing magnesium intake and in a U.S. population where most adults are not receiving their daily magnesium requirement, dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios are increasing. Therefore studies are revealing that calcium supplements that are not in balance with magnesium, elevate the risk of heart disease.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, and Medical Advisory Board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association (www.nutritionalmagnesium.org), adds:
“That cholesterol is not the cause must be obvious, since heart disease is still the number one killer in America in spite of over two decades of statin use. The fact that low levels of magnesium are associated with all the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart arrhythmia, angina and heart attack˜can no longer be ignored; the evidence is much too compelling.”
The current processed food diet that is common in the U.S. is made from foods that are low in magnesium as well as other crucial nutrients. This is due to losses during processing and because of reduced magnesium levels in wheat and vegetables.
Legumes and nuts are rich in magnesium (Mg), however the processed food diet rarely includes these two foods. Attempting to avoid calories and fats to prevent heart disease, people often eliminate nuts from their diet, even though they contain healthy fats and a large source of Mg.
After a few generations of this low Mg diet, young mothers who are deficient in Mg are also having children who start out with low Mg – a condition not often talked about by the medical community. Additionally, the stressful lifestyle that occurs in the U.S. can also increase need for Mg.
As the modern process-food diet as well as the stressful lifestyle spread throughout the world, an increasing human population will experience low levels of Mg and increasing levels of cardiovascular disease, according to the authors.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Emmy Award-winning host of the nationally syndicated talk show The Dr. Oz Show, and vice-chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University says:
“Magnesium is essential for helping regulate metabolism, and it helps lower blood pressure and dilate arteries. Three out of every four of you watching [The Dr. Oz Show] right now across this great country are not getting the amount of magnesium that you need. You are magnesium deficient.”
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald