The importance of a sufficient supply of biofactors – which include vitamins and minerals – in the case of cardiovascular diseases has attracted increasing interest in recent years. It is above all magnesium which plays an important role in the performance of the heart and should therefore be taken into consideration for the treatment of heart diseases.
The annual World Heart Day will be held on September 29, 2020. In addition to genetic causes and risk factors such as stress, overweight, malnutrition and a lack of exercise, magnesium deficiency can also have negative effects on diseases of the heart, such as high blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency and cardiac arrhythmias.
Magnesium's positive effect on high blood pressure and heart disease
"Numerous studies show that magnesium supplementation has a positive effect on high blood pressure. The investigations prove that there is a lowering effect on both systolic and diastolic blood pressure," emphasises Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Kisters, Chief Physician of Medical Clinic I, St. Anna Hospital in Herne and one of the experts of the German Society for Biofactors (GfB).
A magnesium balance that is in equilibrium, if necessary as a result of magnesium therapy, can also have a positive effect on cardiac insufficiency. Corresponding studies with organically bound magnesium orotate show a better quality of life and – above all – increased life expectancy among patients who are treated. Within this context it should generally be taken into account that organic compounds are better tolerated as a rule than inorganic compounds, such as magnesium oxide, and are characterised by higher bioavailability levels.
Magnesium deficiency also plays an important role in the development of cardiac arrhythmias. For this reason, the Society for Magnesium Research – in agreement with the GfB – recommends that the magnesium status of every patient with cardiac arrhythmias should be recorded and a magnesium-rich diet ensured. In the case of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias or diabetes mellitus, as well as cases of magnesium deficiency resulting from increased magnesium losses – triggered for example by therapy with diuretics or associated with chronic intestinal diseases – the professional societies believe that the supply of magnesium through the diet alone is not sufficient and an additional intake of magnesium preparations is required.
When medications become magnesium scavengers
Many medicines can inhibit the absorption of vital biofactors, including magnesium, into the body or promote their excretion. The risk of magnesium deficiency and the resulting health problems increases. Examples of magnesium scavengers are antibiotics, acid blockers, cholesterol-lowering agents or gastro-intestinal drugs, as well as medications used to treat heart disease, such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and cardiac glycosides.
These symptoms can trigger magnesium deficiency
States of confusion, insomnia, lack of concentration, nervousness, restlessness and depression – all of these complaints can be caused by magnesium deficiency. Furthermore, muscle tension or muscle cramps and – as mentioned above – high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias can occur. A sufficient magnesium supply in cases of proven deficiency – also by means of supplements – can protect against osteoporotic bone fractures. Last but not least, magnesium is involved in the sugar metabolism: Magnesium deficiency can promote insulin resistance, so that the cells no longer react sufficiently to insulin and the blood sugar level does not fall to an appropriate level. Conversely, magnesium therapy can have a positive effect on the sugar metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics.
Conclusion of the German Society for Biofactors (GfB): A healthy heart needs magnesium
In cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency and rhythm disturbances it is imperative to avoid magnesium deficiency in order to minimise further consequential damage and a reduction in the patients' quality of life – this is the clear statement of the scientists from the German Society for Biofactors (GfB).
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