Friday, October 1, 2010

Heart health and Magnesium

“All muscles, including the heart and blood vessels, contain more magnesium than calcium. If magnesium is deficient, calcium floods the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels and therefore higher blood pressure, arterial spasm, angina and heart attack. A proper balance of magnesium in relation to calcium can prevent these symptoms” – Dr Mark Sircus’

Magnesium is nutritional oil to the heart; it lubricates and facilitates its function. Due to lack of magnesium the heart muscle can develop a spasm or cramp and stops beating.

Administration of magnesium, in the correct way, can eliminate angina pain, muscle spasms, keep blood flowing smoothly and prevent platelet stickiness. Magnesium also produces vasodilation by a direct action as well indirectly by sympathetic blockade and inhibition of catecholamine release. Magnesium dilates both the epicardial and resistance coronary arteries.
Magnesium also balances cholesterol and is essential for endocrine stability and function. Most importantly - magnesium prevents calcification of the heart tissues.

In a 1995 study, researchers found that the in-hospital death rate of those receiving IV magnesium was one-fourth that of those who received standard treatment alone. In 2003, a follow-up study of these same patients revealed an enduring effect of magnesium treatment. Nearly twice as many patients in the standard treatment group had died compared to those who received magnesium, and there were considerably more cases of heart failure and impaired heart function in the placebo group. In addition to increasing survival after heart attack, IV magnesium smoothes out arrhythmias and improves outcomes in patients undergoing angioplasty with stent placement.

Magnesium was first shown to be of value in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in 1935. Since then there have been numerous double-blind studies showing that magnesium is beneficial for many types of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, ventricular premature contractions, ventricular tachycardia, and severe ventricular arrhythmias.

“Heart palpitations, “flutters” or racing heart, otherwise called arrhythmias, usually clear up quite dramatically on 500 milligrams of magnesium once or twice daily or faster if given intravenously” - Dr. H. Ray Evers

A magnesium deficiency is closely associated with cardiovascular disease.
(Harrison, Tinsley R. Principles of Internal Medicine. 1994, 13th edition, McGraw-Hill, pp. 1106-15 and pp. 2434-35)

Lower magnesium concentrations have been found in heart attack patients.
(Shechter, Michael, et al. The rationale of magnesium supplementation in acute myocardial infarction: a review of the literature. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 152, November 1992, pp. 2189-96)

Administration of magnesium has proven beneficial in treating ventricular arrhythmias.
Ott, Peter and Fenster, Paul. Should magnesium be part of the routine therapy for acute myocardial infarction? American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 4, October 1992, pp. 1113-18
Dubey, Anjani and Solomon, Richard. Magnesium, myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmias: the role of magnesium in myocardial infarction. Drugs, Vol. 37, 1989, pp. 1-7.
England, Michael R., et al. Magnesium administration and dysrhythmias after cardiac surgery. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 17, November 4, 1992, pp. 2395-2402
Yusuf, Salim, et al. Intravenous magnesium in acute myocardial infarction. Circulation, Vol. 87, No. 6, June 1993, pp. 2043-46
Woods, Kent L. and Fletcher, Susan. Long-term outcome after intravenous magnesium sulphate in suspected acute myocardial infarction: the second Leicester Intravenous Magnesium Intervention Trial (LIMIT-2). The Lancet, Vol. 343, April 2, 1994, pp. 816-19
Fatal heart attacks are more common in areas where the water supply is deficient in magnesium and the average intake through the diet is often significantly less than the 200-400 milligrams required daily.
(Eisenberg, Mark J. Magnesium deficiency and sudden death. American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 2, August 1992, pp. 544-49)

Magnesium is useful in preventing death from heart attack and protects against further heart attacks.
Manz, M., et al. Behandlung von herzrhythmusstorungen mit magnesium. Deutsche Medi Wochenschrifte, Vol. 115, No. 10, March 9, 1990, pp. 386-90
Iseri, Lloyd T., et al. Magnesium therapy of cardiac arrhythmias in critical-care medicine. Magnesium, Vol. 8, 1989, pp. 299-306

It also reduces the frequency and severity of ventricular arrhythmias and helps prevent complications after bypass surgery.

Researchers from Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago have determined that not having enough magnesium in your diet increases your chances of developing coronary artery disease.

In a study of 2,977 men and women, researchers used ultrafast computed tomography (CT scans) of the chest to assess the participants’ coronary artery calcium levels. Measurements were taken at the start of the study—when the participants were 18- to 30-years old—and again 15 years later. The study concluded that dietary magnesium intake was inversely related to coronary artery calcium levels. Coronary artery calcium is considered an indicator of the blocked-artery disease known as atherosclerosis.

Chernow et al in a study of postoperative ICU patients found that the death rate was reduced from 41% to 13% for patients without hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels). Other post heart surgery studies showed that patients with hypomagnesemia experienced more rhythm disorders. Time on the ventilator was also longer.
(England MR, Gordon G, Salem M, Chernow B. Magnesium administration and dysrhythmias after cardiac surgery. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. JAMA 1992; 268: 2395–402.)

Another study showed that a greater than 10% reduction of serum and intracellular magnesium concentrations was associated with a higher rate of postoperative ventricular arrhythmias. The administration of magnesium decreases the frequency of postoperative rhythm disorders after cardiac surgery.
(The effect of preoperative magnesium supplementation on blood catecholamine concentrations in patients undergoing CABG. Pasternak, et al; Magnes Res. 2006 Jun;19(2):113-22;

Magnesium has proven its value as an adjuvant in postoperative analgesia. Patients receiving Mg required less morphine, had less discomfort and slept better during the first 48 hours than those receiving morphine alone.

It is established that clinically significant changes in a number of electrolytes occur in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Magnesium ions are an essential requirement for many enzyme systems, and clearly magnesium deficiency is a major risk factor for survival of CHF patients.

In animal experiments, magnesium has been shown to be involved in several steps of the atherosclerotic process, and magnesium ions play an extremely important role in CHF and various cardiac arrhythmias.

Inflammation, heart health and magnesium

Inflammatory reactions in the body are a valuable predictor of impending heart attack. Dr. Robert Genko, editor of the American Academy of Periodontal Journal, claims that persons with gingival disease (which is an inflammatory disorder) are 27 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than are persons with healthy gums. An American Heart Association paper disclosed that 85% of heart attack victims had gum disease compared to 29% of healthy similar patients.

When magnesium levels of fall researchers note a
profound increase of inflammatory cytokines
present, along with increased levels of histamine.
Am J Physiol. 1992;263:R734-7

Epidemiologic studies have shown an inverse relationship between magnesium in the drinking water and cardiovascular mortality.
Comstock G: Water hardness and cardiovascular diseases. Am J Epidemiol 1979; 110:375-400
Rubenowitz E, Axelsson G, Rylander R: Magnesium and calcium in drinking water and death from acute myocardial infarction in women. Epidemiology 1999; 10:31-36

This association between magnesium in drinking water and ischemic heart disease was reconfirmed in a major review of the literature done by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University.
(Marx A, Neutra R: Magnesium in drinking water and ischemic heart disease. Epidemiol Rev 1997; 19:258-272)

Since most heart disease is marked by various levels of inflammation these studies were all highlighting the hidden relationship between inflammation and magnesium deficiency.

Atherosclerosis is caused by chronic inflammation, which often begins very early in life. Magnesium is at the heart of the inflammatory process, it is the prime first cause when it is not present in sufficient quantities. Increases in extracellular magnesium concentration cause a decrease in the inflammatory response while reduction in the extracellular magnesium results in inflammation.

A study performed by the VA Administration, published in JADA, 1998 on 10,000 US veterans, showed that most coronary heart disease started as an endothelial infection and in most cases was caused by pathogens .Recognizing the role of inflammation in arteriosclerosis represents a huge paradigm shift for cardiologists.

A 2006 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition an article showing that as consumption of magnesium fell, the levels of C-reactive protein went up. C-reactive protein, or CRP, is produced in the liver and has emerged as a strong predictor of clinical events of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and stroke, even in cases where cholesterol levels may be normal.  For this reason, CRP assays may become a routine part of blood tests for determining CVD risk.  CRP levels in the blood are normally undetectable or very low; high levels are strongly associated with inflammation.

Modern medicine is just starting to admit that chronic inflammation is the main contributing factor to heart disease and it is just about to discover magnesium chloride as a supremely safe and effective anti inflammatory. Magnesium chloride safely reduces inflammation and systemic stress because magnesium deficiencies are in great part the cause of both conditions.

People with magnesium deficiency can’t properly metabolize important
fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are vital to heart health.

There are literally hundreds of physiological reasons to proclaim magnesium the ultimate heart medicine; its involvement in hundreds of enzyme reactions is just a start. Its use as an anti inflammatory makes magnesium absolutely indispensable to not only heart patients but also to diabetics, neurological and cancer patients as well. The treatment of chronic inflammation has been problematic for medical science because most of their treatments create more inflammation. Magnesium chloride does not do this.

Virtually all the components of the Metabolic Syndrome
of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and lipid
disorders are associated with low magnesium.
Dr. Michael R. Eades

Inflammation contributes to the pro-atherogenic changes in
lipoprotein metabolism, endothelial dysfunction, thrombosis,
hypertension and explains the aggravating effect of  magnesium
deficiency on the development of metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Andrzej Mazura

It turns out that statins don’t just lower cholesterol levels; they also reduce inflammation.The lipid hypothesis of heart disease is rapidly being supplanted by the inflammatory hypothesis. The researchers who have spent their careers doing cholesterol research are falling further and further into disfavor as most scientists are showing graphs demonstrating that elevated cholesterol in combination with an elevated C-reactive protein is a better gauge of heart disease risk. It seems that without the inflammation elevated cholesterol is not a threat after all.

Dr. Andrzej Mazura and team at Milan University confirmed that  magnesium modulates cellular events involved in inflammation. Experimental magnesium deficiency in the rat induces, after only a few days, a clinical inflammatory syndrome characterized by leukocyte and macrophage activation, release of inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins; and excessive production of free radicals. Increase in extracellular magnesium concentration, decreases inflammatory response while reduction in the extracellular magnesium results in cell activation.
Magnesium and the inflammatory response: Potential physiopathological implications. Andrzej Mazura, Jeanette A.M. Maierb, Edmond Rocka, Elyett Gueuxa, Wojciech Nowackic and Yves Rayssiguiera. University of Milan, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Milan, Italy
Magnesium and inflammation: lessons from animal models] Clin Calcium. 2005 Feb;15(2):245-8. Review. Japanese.PMID: 15692164 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

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