Harvard Heart Letter

Magnesium helps the heart keep its mettle

Food, and maybe a multivitamin, should provide all the Mg you need.

Magnesium deficits have been linked with a long list of cardiovascular and other disorders: high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation, cholesterol-clogged coronary arteries, painful spasms of coronary arteries, sudden cardiac arrest, diabetes, osteoporosis, and more. But whether modestly low magnesium stores are the cause of these conditions or the result of them is up in the air.

The uncertainty about magnesium was played out in back-to-back issues of the American Heart Journal with seemingly contradictory reports from two of the premier long-term studies of cardiovascular disease — the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study and the Framingham Heart Study.

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