NMU 78 – Magnesium Supplements Shown to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 78 (January 17, 201)
with Dr. James Meschino
Research Topic: Magnesium Supplements Shown to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (September 2017)
Today I am citing a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 2017. The study was designed to examine the effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure in individuals who were prediabetic, had insulin resistance or had noncommunicable chronic diseases. The study reviewed all the available randomized controlled studies that have used magnesium supplementation to try to reduce high blood pressure in patients with this profile. After pooling the evidence from the eleven studies the researchers reported the following findings: The total number of high blood pressure patients in the eleven clinical trials included 543 subjects, with follow-up periods that ranged from 1 to 6 months (3-months was the average). The supplement dosages of magnesium used in the trials ranged from 365 to 450 mg/d. All studies reported blood pressure readings at baseline and the end of the trial.
The results showed that magnesium supplementation resulted in an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of over 4 mmHg (4.18 mm Hg) and a reduction in diastolic blood pressure of over 2 mmHg (2.27 mm Hg). These are impressive findings. As a result, the researchers concluded, “The pooled results suggest that magnesium supplementation significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or other noncommunicable chronic diseases”.
So, here is my take on this. To reduce high blood pressure using nutrition and lifestyle strategies the most important ways include: Losing excess weight if you overweight- this has been shown to be the most important thing you can do. And you don’t have to lose all the weight. Usually, a 10-15 drop in weight can make a big difference Doing aerobic exercise 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes is also extremely helpful. As for supplements, a number of studies show that 500-1000 mg of calcium per day can help reduce high blood pressure. So, based on the study I’m sitting today, it may be wise to ingest a supplement containing both calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients work synergistically to help support bone density.
Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 and Hawthorn have shown an impressive blood-pressure-lowering effect, along with the ingestion of beetroot juice (high in nitrates, which increase the release of nitric oxide – opening blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. Of course, it’s a good idea to reduce your sodium intake as well. Remember that in the presence of chronic kidney disease, magnesium supplements, in particular, would not be warranted, as they can make this condition worse. But for most people, these nutrition and lifestyle strategies, along with either meditation, progressive relaxation, or deep breathing exercises are strong considerations to help reduce blood pressure, in addition to blood pressure-lowering medications.
I’ve included the scientific reference for this study in the text below.
Reference: American Journal of Clinica Nutrition (September, 2017) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/106/3/921.abstract
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