Magnesium is one mineral that has been in the news quite a lot lately. Its naturally relaxing, so it can help to reduce all kinds of problems; from leg cramps, to IBS issues, sleeping problems. Now, a new study shows that it is likely even helpful when it comes to helping people to reduce their risk for coronary heart disease.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and in it scientists studied information that came from over 300,000 patients in Europe and the US. The goal was to try and determine whether higher magnesium levels were better for the heart. The focus of the study was coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and fatal coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease primarily has to do with how much plaque is in the arteries. Cardiovascular disease has to do with a wider range of diseases that have to do with the blood vessels and heart, and it includes the blood vessels in your kidneys.
According to the findings of the study, those patients that consumed 200 mg of magnesium daily actually reduced their risk of coronary heart disease by about 22 percent. Unfortunately, the risk for cardiovascular disease wasn’t affected by magnesium.
So, how does it work? Magnesium is beneficial for the heart, and many other parts of the body because it naturally relaxes people. So, it can help to reduce the blood pressure by opening arteries and blood vessels. It helps the heart because it regulates a thin cellular layer in the heart, called the endothelium, that controls how dilated the blood vessels are. When the endothelium doesn’t have enough magnesium, the blood vessels get tight, and that causes the flow of blood to slow and even stop.
According to research, most women don’t seem to get enough magnesium. In fact, the women that were studies averaged only about 261 mg of the mineral daily, but 320 mg is the recommended daily amount.
Although it might be tempting just to take a supplement and think you’ll see the same results, you might not. In most of the study participants, the magnesium in the system came from food, so researchers aren’t sure if taking a supplement in this case will be helpful. Lead study author, Liana C. Del Gobbo, PhD and researcher at Harvard University School of Public Health in Epidemiology, recommends consuming more foods with magnesium in them for optimal benefits.
You can find magnesium in many different foods, such as whole grains, those dark, leafy greens and pumpkin seeds and almonds have lots of them. Legumes, as well as dark chocolate, have lots of magnesium in them so incorporating more of these foods in the diet is likely easier to do than you might think.