cardiovascular magnesium

Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk With Extra Magnesium

Sandy Sanderson Dehydration, Electrolyte Balance, Heart Health, Magnesium, Metabolism and Digestion Leave a Comment

The progression of cardiovascular disease correlates with declining levels of magnesium.

The heart is the most important muscle in the body. It has to pump blood 24/7 to keep you alive and can’t afford to have a rest.  Whilst you are sleeping it has to do its work – even at the same time the heart’s tissue cells are being replaced and restored.  It’s like getting mechanical repairs while you are still driving your car!

Like the brain, the heart (sometimes referred to as the second brain) commands respect for its extraordinary work.  It is an amazing biological instrument which we depend on for every breath we take. Every time your heart beats, it needs magnesium to do that work.  Interestingly, the left ventricle of the heart muscle has more magnesium receptors than any other muscle in the body. 

Magnesium is so important to cardiovascular function, its scarcity being correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease, that it has become the focus of intense scientific study and review over recent years.  A meta-analysis review of epidemiological studies published in 2017 concluded that magnesium intake is associated with lower risk of major cardiovascular risk factors such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension, as well as incidence of stroke and total cardiovascular disease.  Higher levels of circulating magnesium are also associated with lower risk of heart disease, mainly ischemic and coronary heart disease. [1]

Whereas cancer used to be the leading cause of death, now it’s heart disease.  Magnesium deficiency is a growing issue in our modern stressed societies consuming diets low in magnesium.  As deficiency grows, so does the rate of cardiovascular disease.

Heart Disease Deaths Increasing

cardiovascular disease

Heart disease (Cardiovascular Disease = CVD) generally refers to conditions involving the vascular system where narrowed or blocked blood vessels can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, sometimes called coronary heart disease (CHD), include those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm. These are also commonly referred to as ‘cardiovascular disease’ (CVD).

Heart disease is Australia’s leading single cause of death, at nearly 1 in 3 deaths. It kills one Australian every 28 minutes. (Australian Dept Health).

This statistic is not as bad (but bad enough) in the USA with 1 in every 4 deaths attributed to CVD, according to the Centres for Disease Control.

Medical Interventions and Potential Problems

Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study, which claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors. Other reports claim the numbers are too conservative and are really as high as 440,000.

Medical mistakes that can lead to death range from surgical complications that go unrecognized to mix-ups with the doses or types of medications patients receive.

According to Penington Institute’s ‘Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2016’, nearly four Australians die every day by misusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.   The report cites 71% of drug-related deaths being as a result of legal drugs compared to 29% from illicit drugs. Some deaths are due to simple dosage errors, such as a weekly pill taken daily with lethal effect. However, most are connected to a pattern of prescription drug overuse, poly-pharmacy and addiction.

We may have spent many years throwing back hot dogs, fries and beers in our seemingly invincible youth – only to pay dearly for it later in life.  The inconvenient truth is that we are what we eat and our cells are just a product of our environment. How can we expect tablets to correct health issues stemming from bad lifestyle habits?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could simply use healthy lifestyle practices to avoid drugs and surgeries targeting degenerative disease symptoms, such as heart disease.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could be pro-active with your daily health regime to support health and wellness all the way into your senior years without cancer, diabetes, obesity or heart disease?

I’m going to show you how magnesium deficiency underpins the increase in degenerative heart disease and what you can do to minimise the risks.  A growing body of evidence from epidemiological studies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses have indicated inverse associations between magnesium intake and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Associated conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes are also directly related to magnesium deficiency. [1, 2]

There will be some cases with congenital heart disorders or genetic mutations which cause a certain disability or abnormality, but even in those cases, extra magnesium nutrition can at least minimise and mitigate the severity of the symptoms.

Stress – The Big ‘Nasty’

Of all the contributors to magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia), including digestive issues, medications, pregnancy, alcoholism, fluoride and chemicals in the environment, sugar consumption, depleted soils and processed foods, it is excessive stress without proper recovery that is the biggest siphon of magnesium from our reserves.

‘Hypermagnesuria’ occurs when the body excretes excessive amounts of magnesium. This can happen with excessive stress or renal problems. ‘Hypomagnesemia’ is a state of magnesium deficiency in the body. In other words, if you don’t put enough magnesium back to compensate for what is lost, you end up with low and sub-optimal levels of magnesium reserves.

If you experience chronic stress in your job, work long hours, do shift work, are exposed to excessive Electro Magnesium Field (EMF) environment, have financial, emotional or social pressures, then you are setting yourself up for significant magnesium deficiency.

Even those that have diligently become gym junkies and are over-exercising without enough recovery or magnesium status, will be in danger of oxidative stress, inflammatory conditions and rapid degeneration. Whilst moderate exercise is very beneficial for cardiovascular health, magnesium should also be in adequate supply to support that exertion.

If we have enough nutrition, rest and recovery we can withstand a surprising amount of stresses and recover stronger. However, what we are often seeing is people who have a magnesium deficiency that keep subjecting themselves to chronic stress without the opportunity for cells to rest and recover.

As a result, we get overloaded with pollution and metabolic wastes that are slow to be eliminated, and at the same time we can’t get enough antioxidant support and energy to build and repair tissue. This is a recipe for acidosis, blocked tubes and inflammation… A disaster. You can only flog your body so much before it runs out of resources and starts to cave in.

What Drives the Pump?

Magnesium is the master mineral that controls the balance of the sodium-potassium electrolyte pump, including calcium exchanges. Studies have shown that if there is a disturbance in any of the other electrolytes of calcium, potassium or sodium, it is magnesium that has dropped first, thereby causing a chain reaction of other electrolyte disturbances. [3] When magnesium status is restored, the other electrolyte deficiency symptoms usually recover too (unless they are really hugely depleted).

99% of the body’s magnesium resides in muscle, bone and soft tissue cells, with only less than 1% in the blood serum and red blood cells. When you get a blood test to see how much magnesium you have, it is not an accurate indicator of what is in tissue cells, because they can release their stores in order to keep blood levels in the normal range. By the time you see a drop of magnesium in the blood it means the tissue levels are critically low and you are in great danger of an adverse cardiac event.

The body gives priority to maintaining adequate magnesium in the blood because magnesium confers a cardio-protective effect with antioxidant support to the endothelial lining of the arteries.

Testing of magnesium levels in body tissue is a more accurate indicator of total body magnesium status. However, if you are experiencing magnesium deficiency symptoms such as muscle cramps, restless legs, heart rhythm disturbances or hypertension (among others), you can be fairly sure you have a magnesium deficiency. The worse the symptoms – the worse the deficiency.

Catecholamines are hormones that stimulate an action response, and include epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and dopamine. Release of the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands is part of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response at a heightened level when we need to be alert and ready to run fast to escape danger.

Adrenaline is also largely involved in heart muscle activity to pump and push the circulation, but obviously when we are relaxed it is at a lower amount than when in fight-or-flight. Note that adrenaline has an intimate relationship with calcium.

Calcium and magnesium are antagonistic. Calcium contracts and magnesium relaxes the muscle. Magnesium acts as a natural guardian of the cell by occupying the calcium channels of the cell membrane and keeping it charged with ATP, polarised and hydrated so that the calcium is kept out.

For contraction to happen you need to have adrenaline released. This helps the exchange of magnesium for calcium ions, which attach to the proteins of the membrane, some water is released, and the muscle contracts.

To relax again, magnesium ions exchange again with the calcium ions as adrenaline subsides, the cell rehydrates and muscle fibres relax.

Research is not yet conclusive about exactly how this mechanism works, except the observations are that low magnesium in and of itself can trigger release of adrenaline, which facilitates entry of calcium into the channels. Merely a low magnesium status can open the door to calcium entry.

Magnesium has a very large hydration shell. Its six waters of hydration are held more tightly to magnesium than to most other cations. The difference between its dehydrated and most hydrated state involves a volume change of almost 400-fold, over an order of magnitude larger than for any other cation.

It is likely that the cellular loss of hydration resulting from a fall in magnesium levels creates more gaps in the cell membrane, which then allows more calcium into the channels.

A lower state of hydration can also cause a rise in adrenalin, associated with a feeling of anxiety or even fear. As hydration status is critical to survival of cells, the body in a sense ‘panics’ if water gets too low by initiating an action response – ie. rise in adrenalin. Therefore, the presence of magnesium, being directly related to the cell’s hydration state, directly influences the prevalence of adrenaline (and thereby calcium).

Therefore, when magnesium is low we get more fidgety and unsettled, more easily fired up with adrenaline at the slightest provocation, and have more calcium causing hardening and stiffness of soft tissue (leading to cardiovascular disease).

Inflammation, Acidosis and Oxidative Stress

Magnesium protects cells from free radical damage and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.  It also supports the immune system and enzyme activity to calm inflammation.

Inflammation in joints or the lining of arteries (cardiovascular disease) is an indicator of cellular acidosis, which can be a by-product of anaerobic metabolism (ie. sugar metabolism). This acidic state produces oxidative stress, which is a form of injury, just like falling and tearing a ligament. To help your ligament repair the body has to increase the cell voltage and metabolism, which is part of the inflammatory response. This higher metabolism makes acidic by-products. So injury produces more acid, which in turn produces more injury (oxidative stress).  How does the body stop the downward spiral and finally calm down the inflammation?

One of the ways is by sending in extra anti-oxidant delivering enzymes such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase to mop up the debris.  The production of these enzymes happens to be dependant on the availability of magnesium. Anti-oxidants deliver spare electrons to buffer the oxidising effects of acids, which are missing those electrons.  Magnesium also happens to be an anti-oxidant.

Acidic states tend to attract calcium deposits and reduce hydration.  You will notice that places where you have had an injury, that even after the area has healed you may still have some aggregation of calcium crystals causing stiffness, tightness, arthritis or gristly texture in joints and ligaments.  This is more likely to happen when magnesium levels and pH are still too low.

ATP Electrical Energy and Heart Muscle Arrhythmia

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The cell membrane is made up of a phospholipid bi-layer with protein channels, held together by magnesium ions. The membranes also store our ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy currency ‘batteries’, of which magnesium is an integrated part. Magnesium has a primary role in the production of ATP by our mitochondria. If magnesium and ATP drops, the cell voltage and energy supply drops and we unplug from our main power source. This interferes with the rate of healing and calming down of inflammation.

If you are not able to make enough ATP you will also have trouble pushing the calcium back out into the sarcoplasmic reticulum, your membranes can stay leaky and depolarised too long and too much sodium can get in to overstimulate cells and nerves. This means you have the sodium revving you up too much, and the calcium hardening and contracting too much.

Not only is magnesium essential in the production of ATP, but magnesium also protects mitochondria in ischemic conditions of angina and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

“The anaerobic metabolism leads to intracellular acidosis and an increase in mitochondrial uptake of calcium, which further inhibits ATP synthesis. Calcium overload is central in ischemic myocardial cell death. Magnesium administration may provide cellular protection during ischemia.”[4]

If mitochondria are damaged or we can’t make enough ATP, it means we can have an energy crisis. This directly effects our electrical supply, cell voltage and conductance, thereby lowering pH and increasing the risk of inflammation and disease.

Hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency) is associated with an increase in heart rhythm disturbances such as tachycardia (erratic fast beat) and fibrillation (shaky vibration) either in the atrium or the lower heart chamber called the left and right ventricles.

cardiovascular disease - heart health

For the heart muscle’s pump-and-relax rhythm we need the right balance between calcium and magnesium (which influences the sodium-potassium pump). That doesn’t however mean they have to be in the same proportion. It used to be thought last century that we need equal amounts of calcium in relation to magnesium and this is why many tablet manufacturers have combined magnesium and calcium. However, this is presupposing that the tablet manufacturers know exactly how much calcium and magnesium you need.

Many people today have an over-supply of calcium without enough magnesium. In this case, if you take tablets containing combined calcium and magnesium you could manifest hypercalcemia – a state of over-calcification. Vitamin D supplementation when magnesium is low can also attract too much calcium to settle where it shouldn’t be. Calcium can then become a bully and block the activity of the little bit of magnesium you do have because it antagonises magnesium. In this case magnesium deficiency symptoms can increase as a result of too much calcium.

The magnesium molecule is also a lot smaller than the calcium molecule and many researchers are now thinking that we may actually need twice as much magnesium as calcium in order to keep our electrolytes balanced.

Funnily enough, you can even get calcium deficiency symptoms when magnesium levels fall too low because low magnesium can inhibit the release of parathyroid hormone, which is needed to support calcium. Vitamin D (calcitriol) also works in tandem with calcium. Notably, those with both magnesium and calcium deficiency symptoms are also usually low in vitamin D. AND, you need magnesium to synthesise vitamin D. [5] No matter which way you look at it, we depend on magnesium at every turn.

Sodium is a big thief of water, hence it is used for drying things. If you have hypertension you don’t want to be consuming too much sodium salt – especially if magnesium is low – because it can push your blood pressure up way too high by making blood less fluidic. We do need the sodium, but we need enough magnesium to control and protect the cell from over-dosing on sodium. More later about water crisis.

If your blood pressure is too low (and blood too fluidic) you may need extra sodium to increase blood volume, as this can be another cause of heart arrhythmia. If blood volume falls too low the electrical supply falters with intermittent flow of energy and consequent heart beat irregularity. Sufficient magnesium can however control electrolyte balance and therefore normalise blood pressure.

By the way, if you use sodium salt in your cooking make sure it is a whole sea salt and not refined, so that it provides a good complement of all the other trace minerals of sea water, which buffer each other. It also tastes much better in food!

When the sodium and calcium push their way into the cell after the magnesium has dropped, we can get involuntary muscle movements such as cramps, twitches and restless legs, heart arrhythmia or even heart attack. A cell membrane that is in a depolarised state for too long can allow too much potassium to slip out and be lost in the urine, which can also cause a heart attack if too much is lost. Potassium and magnesium team up to bolster each other’s effects, so as magnesium drops lower, so does potassium, which in turn weakens the remaining magnesium.

If you are consuming a normal diet which has plenty of green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and/or dairy, you will be getting plenty of calcium, but usually much less magnesium. We can even get a daily supply of our required potassium from a banana, but it’s much harder to get adequate magnesium from our food supply these days.

Drinking a magnesium mineral water also helps to absorb magnesium naturally, as the bowel can absorb a lower concentration, but high concentrations of magnesium tend to be wasted by the digestive system. Magnesium in water makes the water work better and promotes better hydration, electrolyte balance and electrical conductivity of muscle cells (including heart muscle).

Magnesium water (magnesium chloride in solution) is alkaline and structured, offering better hydration capacity, and thereby assisting circulation and detoxification. With enhanced access to tissue cells, magnesium water also takes longer to wind its way through the body and you tend to pee it out less quickly compared to demineralised water.

If your kidneys aren’t working properly you can develop hypermagnesuria, which means you excrete excessive amounts of magnesium in the urine. Diuretics are also notorious for causing excessive excretion of magnesium.

Even without a kidney problem, we can lose a lot of magnesium under stress. If you have had chemical (such as fluoride) or heavy metal exposures, they can also block magnesium in the body. For many reasons most people today are being short-changed on the magnesium necessary for optimal health and wellness, but I will explain a bit later how to absorb a larger amount of magnesium transdermally.

Water Crisis

Dehydration is a co-factor in hypertension. We need enough magnesium to bring water into our cells and to maintain the integrity of the cell membrane – and therefore electrolyte balance. Magnesium and water also promote blood fluidity.

Inside the cell, when magnesium and water are present in the right amount, the water molecules of the cell cytoplasm form a gel-like consistency, a form of ordered and structured water, where water molecules line up like train tracks. Magnesium helps to maintain this charge, having a great affinity for water, and therefore contributing to normal cell hydration. Structured water allows better nutrient transport in cells, as stuff neatly slips and slides along the water ‘tracks’.[6]

As magnesium drops and the cell membrane becomes leaky, we can lose too much water. The tissue cells become dryer and more compromised.

To conserve water the body has a number of mechanisms such as releasing the hormone vasopressin, which causes blood vessel constriction to help push more water up to the brain, the brain being a big consumer of water. This can manifest as hypertension, migraines and headaches. Headaches are often a sign of dehydration.

The brain can also tell the kidney to hold back sodium during water shortage because sodium can hold water back, which in turn causes the pooling up of water in extra cellular spaces in typical areas such as legs, ankles or knee joints. This phenomenon can be diagnosed as oedema. The causes cited are usually kidney or liver dysfunction, congestive heart failure, damage to leg veins or lymphatic system problems.

All of these causes are related to accumulation of pollution in the body. If your body can’t filter wastes via your organs, if the circulation is dysfunctional, and if the lymph system (which is our protein waste sewage system) is sluggish, then we can’t eliminate toxins and wastes as required. In this case the body as fail-safe mechanisms which kick in to help protect our organs and other sensitive areas by either dilution (water retention) or by piling up wastes within pockets of fatty tissue.

To relax the vascular system and help the body rehydrate, restore electrolyte balance and flush its wastes better, we need enough magnesium and water.


cardiovascular disease - hypertension

In a recently published meta-analysis of several randomised controlled magnesium-hypertension trials, it was found:

“The weighted overall effects indicated that the magnesium-supplementation group had a significantly greater reduction in both SBP (SMD: -0.20; 95% CI: -0.37, -0.03) and DBP (SMD: -0.27; 95% CI: -0.52, -0.03) than did the control group. Magnesium supplementation resulted in a mean reduction of 4.18 mm Hg in SBP and 2.27 mm Hg in DBP. Conclusion: The pooled results suggest that magnesium supplementation significantly lowers BP in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or other noncommunicable chronic diseases.” [7]

Arterial Stiffness and Dyslipidemia

The inside lining of blood vessels exposed to blood flow is made up of endothelial cells (the endothelium). Low magnesium has been shown in several studies to upregulate proinflammatory, prothrombotic and proatherogenic conditions in endothelial cells. This inflammatory state leads to increased lipid peroxidation (degradation of cholesterol) and development of dyslipidemia [8] (ie. excessive fats in blood and fatty deposits on lining).

Merely removing the fatty deposits however does not address the problem of why the fatty deposits are accumulating. Note that magnesium has been shown to work better than statin drugs to reduce the fatty plugs on arterial linings, and without the bad side effects.  In addition, magnesium does even more to act as an antioxidant to stabilize lipid metabolism, reduce plaque and increase arterial contractibility and blood fluidity. [9]

Behind the endothelium is a secondary layer, called the media. It is comprised of smooth muscle cells, collagen and elastin, which form a kind of netting. Magnesium regulates collagen and elastin turnover in the vascular wall and the activity of important enzymes -matrix metalloproteinases (which contain zinc).  Therefore, magnesium helps to maintain the elasticity and stretchability of the vessels. [10] Studies have shown that this effect is independent on the vasodilation caused by nitric oxide (NO). [11]  

However, the production of NO is also dependent on magnesium.  So you can’t even make enough NO to dilate your vessels and get you out of trouble when magnesium levels are too low.

In chronic magnesium deficiency it is common for the arterial walls to become more rigid and lose elasticity as more calcium precipitates out of the blood to harden the arterial linings. 

The pressure of the circulation on the stiff arterial walls can cause tiny micro-splits at the places where the calcium has deposited, which can turn into calcium lesions.  Cholesterol ‘bandages’ then accumulate and conveniently plug up the holes. Excessive cholesterol isn’t really the cause of cardiovascular disease, but merely a biomarker of a problem to be solved.  

Lipoproteins transport cholesterol around the body in the blood. We need cholesterol for the electrical system to function.  It is an integral part of nerve sheaths, forms half the brain tissue, and is needed by all our organs – including the skin!  Cholesterol is always moving around the body via blood and lymph systems.

Low density lipoproteins (LDL) carry more cholesterol and high density lipoproteins (HDL) carry less cholesterol.  One is a bit fuller and the other less full of cholesterol.  

The build-up of LDL on arterial linings is a sign of oxidative stress and inflammation.  The LDL usually aggregates near sites of inflammation where the body’s immune system has been busy sending macrophages to mop up debris from arterial injury. Once the LDL and macrophages come together they can create a kind of foaming cholesterol to deal with the free radicals and low pH environment (usually caused by sugar).  This mass gets lumpy and can start choking off the artery if not enough of the LDL and accumulating stuff is removed, that is, if we don’t have enough circulating HDL (plus antioxidants and ATPs, detoxification enzymes and sulfate) to help scoop it up.

We need cholesterol to help clean up mess from inflammation and injury, which is a low pH and oxidative state.  The liver also depends on adequate magnesium to synthesise cholesterol. When the liver is under stress it makes extra cholesterol (with enough magnesium) to compensate and help detoxify. Cholesterol is part of the liver’s detoxification ‘rescue’ system. In magnesium deficient states we tend to see excessive LDL (accumulating at sites of oxidative stress) and deficient HDL.

Oxidised particles produced by the inflammation combine with the LDL, which piles up in solid layers on the lining. If the LDL and oxidised particles are not removed, the arterial passageway narrows, resulting in ischemia, angina or heart attack.  Problems with our clean-up system occur when we are overloaded with sugar and deficient in magnesium. The lower the magnesium the more sugar sensitive we become and the more we move towards anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism and oxidative stress.  The more oxidation (used up oxygen, ie acidic) and the less antioxidant presence, the more lipid peroxidation accumulates as fatty deposits.

“Magnesium deficiency potentiates free radical production and oxidative stress in endothelial cells through reduction in plasma antioxidants and increased lipid peroxidation.”[12]

Magnesium supports aerobic ‘fat’ metabolism and thus also helps the body’s pH regulation. We get more ATP energy units out of fat burning compared to sugar burning and sugar metabolism results in excessive acidic by-products and oxidative stress. Low ‘acidic’ pH breaks us down and causes decay. High ‘alkaline’ pH (7.35-7.45) promotes flow of electrons in our electrical system so that we can get the energy to detoxify, clean up mess and replace cells as required.  This is why we need antioxidants to buffer the acids.

As magnesium is sufficiently replenished, it can control the calcium, provide antioxidant support to quell inflammation and restore normal blood fluidity.  In addition, magnesium supports the liver enzymes to recycle cholesterol and restore normal HDL levels in the blood.  As the oxidation and inflammatory response dissipates, LDL levels subside again to normal.

Thrombosis and Stroke

In a dehydrated state of positive pH charge, platelet stickiness is triggered, causing a clumping together of blood cells, which can build up to form blood clots and thrombosis.  If a clot lodges in the brain it becomes a stroke. Magnesium however promotes the release of prostacyclin, which reduces the platelet stickiness again to restore normal blood fluidity. Magnesium acts like an anti-coagulant!

Studies have confirmed that platelet-dependent thrombosis is significantly increased in patients with coronary artery disease and low intracellular magnesium. [13]

If you are getting calcium precipitation on the endothelial lining, that is because free calcium has moved into the blood stream, causing thickening and exacerbation of hypertension, as well as platelet aggregation.  Magnesium is known to inhibit platelet activation by inhibiting Thromboxane A2 and interfering with the IIb-IIIa receptor complex. [14]

This condition is associated with a perfect storm coming together of 1) cellular acidosis (oxidative stress), 2) magnesium deficiency (= hypercalcemia) and 3) dehydration.

SUMMARY – Magnesium is Crucial for Heart Health and to Avoid Cardiovascular Disease

Here are the mechanisms that are activated when magnesium levels become chronically low (abbreviations: CV, cardiovascular; Mg, magnesium; T2D, type 2 diabetes):

[1] cardiovascular disease cardiovascular disease

Magnesium supplementation and high magnesium diet has proven itself time and again in several studies over the last 30 years to be cardio-protective:

“Magnesium confers cellular protection during myocardial ischemia by (1) acting as a calcium antagonist, thereby reducing calcium overload, (2) conserving cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the magnesium salt and thereby preserving energy-dependent cellular processes, (3) reducing myocardial oxygen consumption by lowering the heart rate, contractility, systemic afterload, and attenuating catecholamine-induced elevated oxygen demand, and (4) protecting the post-ischemic myocardium from oxidative damage.” [12]

Transdermal Magnesium Absorption

In the crisis of a heart attack or immediately after cardiac surgery doctors may administer intravenous magnesium to avoid heart arrhymthia.  This is recommended because such traumas trigger a massive release of magnesium via the urine, leading to severe magnesium deficiency, which increases the risk of arrhythmia or thrombotic events.  Magnesium also promotes faster healing and recovery.

However, perhaps you may like to avoid the necessity of such drastic interventions by not developing heart disease in the first place.

A successful lifestyle protocol involves steps to ensure our diet contains high levels of magnesium, as well as mindful lifestyle practices avoiding stress and conserving excessive magnesium loss.

When gut health and digestion is impaired the best way to absorb large amounts of magnesium, as needed, is transdermally.  Magnesium chloride salts, once dissolved, are already in the right form for cellular uptake.  You can enjoy a calming and relaxing magnesium footsoak or bath three times a week or more. Food grade magnesium chloride can also be added to filtered drinking water (ie. non-fluoridated).

Other ways to incorporate natural magnesium supplementation is by using magnesium body care products such as Magnesium Cream, Magnesium Lotion and Magnesium Oil.  The presence of lipids assists the absorption of the magnesium salts via skin.

For example, in the case of dry or sensitive skin it is recommended to lubricate the skin first with Magnesium Cream, as it acts as a superior moisturiser and anti-ageing cream (bonus!).

Stronger solutions such as magnesium oil can be additionally applied to increase the dose for acute conditions, pain relief and relaxation of tight muscles, ligaments and joints with a gentle massaging action.  If you are feeling any kind of tremors or muscle twitches, just apply a generous amount to that area and massage in to relax the muscle.

Daily use of transdermal magnesium also promotes better sleep.   Have a magnesium soak and apply magnesium skin care just before bed for best results.  Apply magnesium cream in the morning for skin conditioning and protection, and a daily magnesium boost.  Significant amounts of magnesium can be naturally absorbed via skin, which has been confirmed in a number of studies. [3, 15-18]

There is no limit to how much can be used transdermally because the body is in control and transdermal absorption is a self-regulating system.  The nutrients just sit inside the epidermal layer, as in a storage reservoir, until the body is ready to take them up.  AND, the beneficial side effect is great skin condition!

Magnesium promotes a calmer and more focussed energy metabolism, better cardiovascular health and prevents premature ageing.  It helps to keep us younger, more flexible and ‘juicier’ longer!  They don’t call it ‘the anti-ageing mineral’ for nothing.
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By Sandy Sanderson © 2019

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  3. Chandrasekaran, N.C., et al., Effects of magnesium deficiency–more than skin deep. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2014. 239(10): p. 1280-91.
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  9. Seelig, M.S. and A. Rosanoff, The magnesium factor. 2003, New York: Avery.
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  11. Teragawa, H., et al., Magnesium causes nitric oxide independent coronary artery vasodilation in humans. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 2001. 86(2): p. 212-216.
  12. Kolte, D., et al., Role of Magnesium in Cardiovascular Diseases. Vol. 22. 2014. 182-192.
  13. Shechter, M., et al., Low intracellular magnesium levels promote platelet-dependent thrombosis in patients with coronary artery disease. Am Heart J, 2000. 140(2): p. 212-8.
  14. Hansen, B.-A. and Ø. Bruserud, Hypomagnesemia in critically ill patients. Journal of Intensive Care, 2018. 6(1): p. 21.
  15. Chandrasekaran, N., Effect of topical magnesium application on epidermal integrity and barrier function 2016, The University of Queensland. p. 84.
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  17. Kass, L., et al., Effect of transdermal magnesium cream on serum and urinary magnesium levels in humans: A pilot study. PloS one, 2017. 12(4): p. e0174817-e0174817.
  18. Sang-ngern, M., et al., Preliminary study of transdermal permeation of magnesium cream formulations across skin. 2012.
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