New research revealed that enough magnesium taken through a balanced diet lowers blood pressure. Magnesium works by dilating arteries and thus lowering blood pressure, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum explains.
Some of the foods that are high in magnesium are whole grains, leafy vegetables, nuts, or beans. Previous studies which focused on magnesium’s role in regulating blood pressure have been small scale and had mixed results.
Now, a group of experts evaluated data from 34 clinical trials on magnesium supplements, involving more than 2,000 people altogether.
The daily doses ranged from 240 milligrams of magnesium to 960 mg. Most studies met or exceeded the Recommended Daily Allowance for magnesium intake. By filtering the collected data, the team found a significant connection between magnesium levels and healthy reductions in blood pressure.
For example, the study showed that taking around 368 mg of magnesium daily, for about three months, resulted in reductions in systolic blood pressure (the maximum number in a reading) of 2 mm of mercury and diastolic blood pressure (the minimum number) of 1.78 mm/Hg.
That means higher magnesium levels were associated with better blood flow. Blood flow is an important factor in lowering blood pressure. However, scientists believe that magnesium supplements are recommended to people with a deficiency or insufficiency of magnesium. For most people, a healthy, nutritious diet rich in vegetables and whole grains should be enough.
If your diet provides the recommended magnesium amount, it can be a good strategy for keeping blood pressure under control.
The recommended amount of magnesium (368mg/day) can be obtained just by eating healthy. Magnesium supplements should not normally be necessary. A well-balanced meal is not just important for magnesium levels, but for achieving good health and preventing heart disease.
Based on the new results, checking magnesium levels when screening for heart health, may become an essential part of preventing and treating blood pressure.
Doctors also believe that lifestyle improvements, diet changes, and even magnesium supplements often make blood pressure medication redundant. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, and magnesium could be the answer to the national heart health crisis.
There is a growing debate between doctors, on the benefits of prescribing supplements. While some say these have little or no effect, others believe they can be associated with a healthy diet.
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