Can Magnesium Lower Blood Pressure?

Author: Richard Horgan
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Magnesium CAN lower blood pressure.

After inconsistent research results, the American Heart Association finally came out in 1998 with a study that confirmed the potentially beneficial impact of magnesium on high blood pressure.(1)  Too much magnesium can cause serious health effects including severely lowered blood pressure. [2]

Magnesium Shown to Slightly Lower Blood Pressure

Over a period of eight weeks, 60 study subjects taking magnesium were closely monitored, with their blood pressure measured daily at home and at the office. Although the differences in blood pressure were small when the magnesium-fueled period was compared to the non-supplemented data, it was still noticeable enough to be conclusive.

The Japanese researchers involved in the study found that study subject blood pressure averaged about 2.7 millimeters less of mercury in systolic pressure and 1.5 millimeters of mercury less diastolic pressure. Systolic and diastolic refer to, respectively, the high and low blood pressure measurements separated by the expression "over." And the higher the blood pressure in the patient, the more noticeable the result was during this study. [3]

Why Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure

Magnesium is essential for growth and maintenance of the bones.  It also maintains nerve and muscle function, keeps the heart rhythm steady, and supports the immune system.  Because magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines, it helps to neutralize stomach acids and move stools through the intestines. [4]

Magnesium plays a role in more than 300 different enzyme systems in the body and is essential to a wide variety of metabolic processes such as synthesis of protein, fat, and nucleid acids, glucose utilization, and muscle contractions. [5]  Research has indicated that magnesium may be effective in managing disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.

Magnesium Supplements for High Blood Pressure

Though research has indicated that magnesium may play a role in managing blood pressure, you should not replace prescribed hypertension medication in favor of magnesium supplements.  In fact, you shouldn't take magnesium supplements without the advice of a physician.  Too much magnesium can cause serious health effects.  In addition to severely lowered blood pressure, excess magnesium can cause a slowed heart rate, nausea and vomiting, confusion, respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrest, coma, and even death. [6]

Dietary Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure

It's not just magnesium supplements that point to normal blood pressure. Those individuals who pursue a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables rich in the mineral are consistently found to benefit from it in this critical body regulation measurement area. Low-fat dairy foods can also have a real impact on blood pressure, when combined with the fruits and vegetables. [7]

Until recently, the findings associated with such foods were muddied by the fact that these items are also rich in potassium and fiber. However, the gradual sophistication of research and instrumentation tools has finally allowed proponents of DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to categorically state that yes, magnesium can lower blood pressure.

The DASH diet is specifically designed by physicians for those with high blood pressure or pre-hypertension symptoms. It was recently rated as America's top diet program by a panel of physicians and other experts and has been shown to impact blood pressure in as little as 14 days. [8]

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Works Cited

[1][2] Hypertension-Journal of the American Heart Association
Effects of Magnesium Supplementation in Hypertensive Patients : Assessment by Office,
1998; 32; 260-265

[2][6][7] University of Maryland Medical Center
Magnesium
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm

[3] National Institutes of Health
Magnesium
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium

[4] WebMD
Magnesium
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-998-MAGNESIUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=998&activeIngredientName=MAGNESIUM

[5] American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Wester, PO
Magnesium
1987; Volume: 45; Pages: 1305-1312

[8] Dashdiet.org
US News and World Reports: Best and Healthiest Diet Plan
http://dashdiet.org/

purplearrowExpert Opinion

Quote:  "In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, the DASH diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure. It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fiber, low to moderate fat diet, rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. "

Source:  The DASH diet

purplearrowGlossary of Terms

Glucose Utilization: Glucose is the main type of sugar in the blood and is the major source of energy for the body's cells. 
Kidshealth.org

Hypertension: High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
Mayo Clinic

Necleid Acid: Any of a group of complex compounds found in all living cells and viruses, composed of purines, pyrimidines, carbohydrates, and phosphoric acid. Nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA control cellular function and heredity.
American Heritage Dictionary

Pre-hypertension:  an American classification for cases where a person's blood pressure is elevated above normal but not to the level considered to be hypertension
Wikipedia

purple arrowCite this Article

"Can Magnesium Lower Blood Pressure?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/can-magnesium-lower-blood-pressure.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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