Medications vs Magnesium

A Magnesium deficit can cause many symptoms associated with heart disease. When cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and bodies have adequate Magnesium these symptoms (if due to a magnesium deficit) do not occur and the heart and blood vessels can be healthy at every level if other, non-magnesium related heart or cardiovascular issues are not present. Pharmaceutical medications that treat these symptoms are aggressively marketed and promoted despite numerous harmful side effects and long term health risks.  Since over half of U.S. adults do not take in daily magnesium adequate to their nutritional needs, it is reasonable to ask if one's heart disease risk factors might be best treated with adequate magnesium before or while resorting to these medications.

Anyone taking these medications and wanting to try a nutritional approach needs to work closely with a physician or other health professional who can guide and follow blood levels as well as cell levels of nutritional magnesium, potassium and calcium.

In general, change in medications should be done gradually and always under the guidance of a health professional.

Here are a few of the symptoms of heart disease that Magnesium deficiency causes and the types of medications that are used to treat these symptoms:

 

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms                                Types of MedsTreated With                            

High Blood Pressure from too much                                    Calcium channel blockers

Calcium rushing into cells                                                          

 

Hyper stress reaction                                                        Beta blockers

Hyper cholesterol production                                              Statins

Blood platelet aggregation                                                  Blood thinners

Non relaxation of smc                                                        Anti-hypertensive medications such as ACE Inhibitors, Diuretics

(smooth muscle cells of blood vessels)

                                                       

High Blood Pressure from

Sodium:Potassium imbalance                                            Anti-hypertensive meds, ACE Inhibitors, Diuretics

                                                                                       Low sodium, salt-restriction diets

 

Insulin resistance                                                              Anti-glucose meds

Arteriosclerosis                                                                 By-pass, angioplasty surgery

Susceptibility to oxidative stress                                         Anti oxidants

 

Can Magnesium Supplements Lower High Blood Pressure?

 Many scientific studies have been done, clinically, trying magnesium supplements' affect on blood pressure.  The results have varied widely, and until recently this was taken as an open question in medical science.  A recent comprehensive, analytic review of all of the studies shows that magnesium supplements need to be at or above the daily dose of 486 mg in people with high blood pressure who have never taken medications for hypertension or have been taking them for less than 6 months.  People with high blood pressure who are taking such medications at least six months need only take half this amount of magnesium (240 mg/day) to achieve a significant decrease in their blood pressure.  Magnesium supplements in people who have normal blood pressure will show NO CHANGE in blood pressure, i.e. magnesium will not lower a normal blood pressure as anti-hypertensive medications can.  See:  

Rosanoff, A. (2010). "Magnesium supplements may enhance the effect of antihypertensive medications in stage 1 hypertensive subjects." Magnes Res 23(1): 27-40. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=20228010

  

Side Effects of Commonly Used High Blood Pressure Medications

Side Effects of Calcium channel blockers- Side effects of the synthetic drugs that are used as Calcium channel blockers may include but are not limited to: dizziness, headache, redness in the face, fluid buildup in the legs, rapid heart rate, slow heart rate, constipation.

Side Effects of Beta blockers- Side effects may include but are not limited to: low blood pressure, slow heart rate, heart palpitations, impaired circulation, loss of sleep, heart failure, asthma, depression, sexual dysfunction, nausea, headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps.

Side Effects of ACE inhibitors- Side effects may include but are not limited to: hypotension, cough, high blood potassium, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, kidney impairment.

Side Effects of Diuretics- Side effects may include but are not limited to the loss of potassium and magnesium along with the sodium. Note: There are certain diuretics that spare potassium and magnesium. The long-term use of diuretics increases the chance of heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) due to low potassium and magnesium.

Magnesium can often handle the root causes of heart disease risk symptoms and is a natural calcium channel blocker, beta blocker, statin, ACE Inhibitor and Diuretic without the harmful side effects.

 

Lowering Blood Pressure with Drugs Does Not Always Lower the Risk of Heart Disease

Our knowledge of the role of insufficient magnesium in cardiovascular disease tells us that hypertension, a known risk factor for heart disease, can often result from low intakes of magnesium and potassium, coupled with a high intake of sodium.

Further, the findings of many studies indicate that it is not high blood pressure per se, but rather the underlying magnesium deficiency associated with it that makes people with hypertension so vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Correcting high blood pressure without correcting an existing magnesium deficiency may not prevent cardiovascular disease. It may even make things worse if side effects of medications or the high stress due to an individual’s inability to make prescribed dietary and lifestyle changes end up increasing the severity of the underlying nutritional deficiency.

The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) is the amount of an essential nutrient that will meet the daily requirement for almost all (97.5%) HEALTHY individuals in a given gender and age-range group.

The magnesium and calcium RDA for in this age range () is:

According to the USDA’s 2001-2 survey, there’s a % chance you are getting less than your daily magnesium requirement from the foods you eat.

Press "Continue" to take a short questionaire that will estimate your risk of magnesium deficiency.

I drink milk with enriched vitamin D?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I take vitamin D suplements?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I spend an hour or more in the sunlight?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink bottled deionized water?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink sodas with phosphoric acid?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

All colas and Dr. Pepper type drinks, with or without caffeine, with or without sugar, have phosphoric acid in them.
Here’s how much:
Size of Drink Phosphorus
X-small - 12 oz 39 to 44 mg
Small - 16 oz 52 to 59 mg
Med - 22 oz 71 to 81 mg
Large - 32 oz 104 to 118 mg
X-large - 44 oz 143 to 162 mg
All other sodas have no phosphorus.

I eat candy?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat pastries, cakes, pies or desserts?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I have sugar in my coffee?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat white bread (including bagels, croissante, muffins, french bread, croutons, crackers, etc.)?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat pasta, spagehetti or noodles (including Chinese noodles)?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

My diet is high in saturated fat?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I take a calcium supplement with no added magnesium?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I use cocaine?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I feel stressed?

 Never  Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

 

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I drink alcohol?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Daily  Often

(less then once a month)

(less then twice a week)

(2 to 4 times per week)

(4 to 7 times per week)

(more than once a day)

I eat whole grain foods three times each day?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat 7 to 9 servings of fruits/vegetables?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat nuts or legumes?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I eat very dark chocolate?

 Very seldom  Seldom  Weekly  Almost Daily  Every Day

(or never)

(less then once a week)

(1 to 2 times per week)

(3 to 6 times per week)

 

I have high blood pressure (treated or not)?

     True  False    

I have high cholesterol (high LDL cholesterol and/or low HDL cholesterol)?

     True  False    

I have type 2 diabetes or high fasting glucose?

     True  False    

I take thiazide diuretics?

     True  False    

I use digitalis?

     True  False    

My family has a history of heart disease?

     True  False    

You have a low risk of a magnesium deficit.

Congratulations! You are doing a good job. Keep up the good life style; you should not be having any Mg deficit symptoms.

If you do, you may be in the process of building up your magnesium status after an illness, an extended time of poorer habits or a particularly stressful period. If none of these fit your situation, any symptoms you are experiencing on the magnesium deficit list are probably due to another cause, and you might want to consult with a health care specialist.

You have a mild risk of a magnesium deficit.

You are doing well in your Life Style. You can most probably move into safe magnesium status by including more foods high in magnesium in your daily life. Look over the Mg deficit symptoms to see if any apply to you before you decide whether to add Mg supplements to your daily routine for awhile. If you do, get tips by reading Treatment on this webpage.

You have a moderate risk of a magnesium deficit.

Your life style is generally healthy, but you could improve your magnesium intake to be really safe. Check out the foods high in magnesium to see which high magnesium foods you would enjoy adding to your daily life, and look over the Mg deficit symptoms.

If you have some of these symptoms, consider adding a magnesium supplement to your daily life for three months as you also add more high magnesium foods to your diet (see Treatment for more tips on assessing and correcting a borderline or deficit Mg status).

You have a high risk of a magnesium deficit.

You need to make some changes to protect your health from illness and to optimize your life. Go now to the Treatment page of this website to get a good start. You will probably need to add more high magnesium foods to your daily life as well as to supplement with magnesium, depending on how many Mg deficit symptoms you are experiencing.

You have a very high risk of a magnesium deficit.

Make an assessment of your Mg deficit symptoms right away, and if you have two or more, you should consider a daily magnesium supplement for at least three months at as high a level of magnesium that is comfortable for your digestive tract. During that same three months, add daily foods you like that are high in magnesium.

See the treatment section of this webpage for tips on correcting any magnesium deficit you may have. If you are treated by a physician, show him/her this webpage to work towards a healthy magnesium status for you.