- Can herbal remedies help prevent heart palpitations?
- Can I experience heart palpitations during panic attacks?
- Why do I experience heart palpitations when I bend forward?
- Are PVCs that I can feel more significant than those I can’t?
- What should I do if my 9-year-old is complaining of “skipped beats?”
- What do people mean by sudden death?
- Micronutrient Information Center
- The Link Between Magnesium and Heart Health
- How Magnesium Helps Maintain Your Health
- 5 Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
- How to Heal a Magnesium Deficiency
- How to Choose (and Use) a Magnesium Supplement
- Confused about Magnesium and the Heart
- Why is Magnesium Necessary for Heart Health?
- What Are Cardiac Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency?
- What Are Other Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency?
- How Much Magnesium Do You Need Daily?
- What Are the Best Forms of Magnesium for the Heart?
- What Is the Best Way to Take the Magne 5?
- Summary of Information:
Can herbal remedies help prevent heart palpitations?
In terms of herbal remedies, I am not aware of an herbal remedy specifically effective for heart palpitation. I should say that low levels of potassium or magnesium in the body may be associated with palpitations and occasionally even more severe heart rhythm disorders, and in those cases supplements or foods high in potassium and magnesium are quite helpful.
Can I experience heart palpitations during panic attacks?
The startle effect releases substances in the body such as adrenaline which cause the heart rate to increase and the heart to beat more vigorously, creating a sensation of panic, heart pounding and heart racing. This is the experience of becoming aware of a natural or normal functioning of the nervous system. Anxiety, panic, and startling cause the adrenaline level to rise and create the sensation of palpitation.
Why do I experience heart palpitations when I bend forward?
When bending over, there is increased intra-abdominal pressure and this is transmitted up the esophagus (or a hiatal hernia) which lies directly against the back of the left atrium. This is the most common cause of non-cardiac palpitations.
Esophageal mobility disorders
Persons with esophageal motility disorders will also have a frequent palpitations and the will be no cardiac rhythm abnormality present. The brain doesn’t have the ability to differentiate cardiac palpitations from the stomach, esophagus, or sometimes even the chest wall muscles. These in and of themselves are normal and natural and don’t require any specific treatment in the vast majority of cases.
Are PVCs that I can feel more significant than those I can’t?
There is no prognostic difference between the PVCs that are felt by the patient and those that are not. Obviously the symptomatic PVCs are of more concern to the patient because they can be annoying and distracting. Beyond that, the PVCs are all the same, prognostically. In most patients who are otherwise healthy, PVCs on a Holter are of little prognostic value regardless of whether they’re experienced or not.
What should I do if my 9-year-old is complaining of “skipped beats?”
The same types of recommendations apply to children and in the vast majority of children, the causes of skipped beats are usually benign and do not require treatment. They should not be ignored, however, as electrical or structural abnormalities of the heart need to be ruled out.
If a child simply notices an occasional “skipped beat” and is otherwise healthy and keeps up with their friends on the playground, it’s unlikely that anything serious is going on.
Symptoms that require medical attention
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting spells
Nonetheless, their pediatrician should see children with these types of complaints, and some of them will need to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist.
What do people mean by sudden death?
Sudden death is used to describe a situation in which a patient loses cardiac function and essentially will die within minutes if assistance is not provided. By assistance, I mean cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and frequently, electrical cardioversion to restore the heart rhythm to normal. Obviously, patients where these efforts are successful will require extensive evaluation to determine the cause of cardiac arrest and to prevent it from occurring in the future.
The internal defibrillator devices that have become commonplace in the care of these types of patients have proven to be very effective in preventing death from heart arrhythmias in patients who have already had one or more episode of attempted sudden death.
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This month, Americans will make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy, exercise more, get more sleep, and maybe even find ways to manage stress. Those that do are also more likely to purchase dietary supplements, a market that reached $32.5 billion in sales in 2012.
Sixty eight percent of Americans take vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, and 20 percent do so for heart health, according to a report by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
Yet supplements are unregulated by the FDA— there’s no telling exactly what’s in them— and some can also be harmful to the heart, interact with medications and have serious side effects.
Here are seven supplements you should avoid, especially if you have heart disease or cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Approximately 43 percent of Americans, including nearly 70 percent of older women, take a supplement that contains calcium for bone health.
Yet a recent study out of John Hopkins Medicine found that taking calcium supplements may increase the risk for plaque buildup in the arteries and heart damage.
Experts agree, however, that there likely isn’t a cause and effect relationship. Calcium is actually beneficial for the cardiovascular system, but only when both vitamins D and K2 are optimal because they help manage calcium status.
“Without a nice level of vitamin D or vitamin K2 in your body, calcium has a tendency to start to deposit in other tissues like your arterial system,” said Dr. Michael Smith, author of “The Supplement Pyramid,” and senior health scientist for Life Extension in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Nevertheless, you should talk to your doctor about a calcium supplement.
“Not everybody that is taking calcium needs to. The best way to get calcium is through food, not a supplement,” said Dr. Deepak Bhatt, executive director of interventional cardiovascular programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
2. Licorice root
Licorice root is an herb that is used to improve prostate health and digestive problems such as ulcers, acid reflux and gut discomfort. It is also used to ease symptoms of menopause and inflammation, including viral and bacterial infections and coughs.
Yet licorice root can cause high blood pressure and deplete potassium levels, so if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, you should avoid it, Smith said.
Yohimbe is sold as a supplement for erectile dysfunction but it’s not clear if it’s even effective, Bhatt said.
It may also help to control appetite, aid weight loss and help depression, but you should avoid it if you have heart disease because it can have adverse cardiac effects.
Commonly used to aid weight loss and boost energy, ephedra raises the heart rate and blood pressure and can exacerbate heart arrhythmias.
“Somebody that has heart failure, even mild heart failure, can start having shortness of breath episodes,” Smith said.
Taking ephedra can lead to irregular heartbeat or heart attack, particularly in people who have heart disease, or those who have undiagnosed heart disease.
People who have risk factors for heart disease should avoid it, too.
Arginine or l-Arginine, is an amino acid in the body. In supplement form, studies show it may have positive cardiovascular effects because it dilates and relaxes the arteries. It can also help those with angina, high blood pressure and heart failure.
Yet taking the supplement can be deadly, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found.
The bottom line? “It’s not clear that it hurts but it’s not clear that it helps either,” Bhatt said.
6. Bitter orange
Studies show bitter orange, a plant, is used to control appetite and aid weight loss, yet it can also be dangerous.
“Bitter orange is known to have some heart side effects mostly because it has a caffeine-like compound in it,” Smith said.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine or have risk factors for heart disease, it’s a good idea to avoid taking it.
7. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is well known as a therapy for mild to moderate depression without all the side effects of anti-depressant medications, but taking the supplement can also lead to blood pressure spikes, according to a study in the journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology.
Micronutrient Information Center
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Food & Beverages
- Alcoholic Beverages
Cardiac arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, can lead to ineffective pumping by the heart and, if prolonged and severe, sudden cardiac death (SCD). Although randomized controlled trials have not demonstrated a clear clinical benefit for omega-3 fatty acid supplements, a large body of evidence indicates that regular consumption of fish significantly reduces the risk of SCD. Regular consumption of nuts, and light-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages are also associated with a significantly reduced risk of SCD. Moderate coffee consumption (three to four cups per day) is not associated with cardiac arrhythmia in healthy individuals. Some medications can lead to abnormally high or low blood potassium concentration, which increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmia.
Cardiac arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, refers to any change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses in the heart. The electrical impulses that initiate a heartbeat may be too fast, too slow, or inconsistent. When the heart does not beat properly, it cannot pump blood effectively, potentially causing problems for the heart itself or for the rest of the body.
For example, blood may pool inside the chambers of the heart during arrhythmia. Pooled blood may form clots, which can break free and block an artery, leading to heart attack or stroke. If arrhythmia is prolonged and severe, the heart may be unable to pump any blood at all. The abrupt loss of heart function when the electrical system malfunctions is called sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest can lead to sudden cardiac death if the normal rhythm of the heart is not reestablished.
Arrhythmia may result from a heart defect present since birth, the use of certain drugs and medications, or as a consequence of damage to the heart’s muscular or electrical system due to heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, thyroid abnormalities, or rheumatic heart disease.
See below for specific information about nutrients and dietary factors relevant to arrhythmia.
Types of Arrhythmia
Tachycardia – too rapid heart rate
Bradycardia – too slow heart rate
Atrial Fibrillation – rapid, uncoordinated beating of the atria that results in ineffective atrial contractions; atrial fibrillation is a major cause of stroke
Ventricular Fibrillation – rapid, uncoordinated beating of the ventricles that results in ineffective pumping of the heart; ventricular fibrillation can cause cardiac arrest
Premature Contraction – early, extra heart beat that can originate in the ventricles or the atria
Arrhythmia – abnormal heart rhythm
Atria (singular: atrium) – the two upper chambers of the heart that receive blood from the veins and contract to force blood into the ventricles
Ventricles – the two lower chambers of the heart that contract to force blood to the lungs (right ventricle) and to the rest of the body (left ventricle)
Test tube (in vitro) experiment – a research experiment performed in a test tube, culture dish, or other artificial environment outside of a living organism; in vitro is a Latin phrase meaning in glass
Animal experiment – a research experiment performed in a laboratory animal; many different animal species are studied in the laboratory, including terrestrial (land), aquatic (water), and microscopic animals
Observational study – a human research study in which no experimental intervention or treatment is applied, and participants are simply observed over time
Randomized controlled trial – a human research study in which participants are assigned by chance alone to receive either an experimental agent (the treatment group) or a placebo (the control group)
Placebo – a chemically inactive substance
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
What they do
- Essential fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). PUFAs have several double bonds in their structure that give them complex shapes and influence their function.
- Essential fatty acids are structural components of every cell in the body, are converted to compounds that influence inflammation and immunity, and serve as an important source of energy.
- There are two classes of essential fatty acids: omega-6 PUFA and omega-3 PUFA.
- Test tube and animal experiments indicate that the long-chain omega-3 PUFAs help stabilize ischemic heart muscle cells and reduce susceptibility to arrhythmias.
What we know
- Regular seafood consumption has been associated with a modestly lower risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), but randomized trials of increased omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake — through supplementation, enriched meals, or dietary advice — suggest no effect on arrhythmia or SCD.
Ischemia (adjective: ischemic) – inadequate blood supply to an organ or tissue
For references and more information, see the section on omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease in the Essential Fatty Acids article.
What it does
- Potassium is an essential mineral that helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, influences blood pressure, and is required for proper nerve conduction and muscle contraction.
- Severe hyperkalemia (abnormally high blood potassium) and hypokalemia (abnormally low blood potassium) may result in cardiac arrhythmias that can be fatal.
For a table of medications associated with hyperkalemia and hypokalemia, see the safety section in the Potassium article.
- Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol and other ingredients with bioactive properties that may affect health.
- When consumed in moderation (no more than two drinks/day for men and one drink/day for women), alcoholic beverages have been associated with beneficial effects in the cardiovascular system.
- On the other hand, heavy alcohol consumption (more than five drinks/day) has been consistently associated with negative effects in many organ systems.
- The ways by which alcohol may trigger arrhythmias are not fully known. Alcohol may interfere with the contractility of heart muscle cells, change the shape and structure of heart muscle cells, contribute to electrolyte imbalance, or induce oxidative stress.
- Binge drinking (more than five drinks on a single occasion) and chronic, high alcohol consumption (more than two drinks/day) are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.
- For sudden cardiac death (SCD), the relationship with alcohol consumption appears to be “J shaped,” meaning that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk while no alcohol or high alcohol consumption are associated with an increased risk of SCD.
For references and more information, see the section on Health Risks Associated with Alcohol Consumption in the Alcoholic Beverages article.
- Coffee is a complex mixture of chemicals. In addition to caffeine, coffee contains several phytochemicals that can influence human health.
- Caffeine binds to certain nerve cell receptors, leading to stimulatory effects in the nervous system.
- Observational studies have found no association between moderate coffee consumption (three to four cups/day) and atrial fibrillation or sudden cardiac death.
- Likewise, electrophysiology studies have found that caffeine ingestion up to 500 milligrams (mg)/day (equivalent to five to six cups of coffee per day) does not increase the frequency or severity of cardiac arrhythmia in healthy individuals or in those with coronary heart disease.
For references and more information, see the section on cardiac arrhythmias in the Coffee article.
- Katan JB and Schouten E. Caffeine and Arrhythmia. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005;81:539-40
- Pelchovitz DJ & Goldberger JJ. Caffeine and Cardiac Arrhythmias: A Review of the Evidence. American Journal of Medicine. 2011;124:284-9
The Link Between Magnesium and Heart Health
What is the role of magnesium in heart health?
— Susan, Georgia
Magnesium has hundreds of important functions in the body, from energy production and proper nerve function to muscle relaxation. Studies are mixed about whether its potential heart benefits come from the magnesium itself or from a combination of magnesium and other beneficial nutrients (such as potassium and fiber). Or perhaps it’s simply that people who eat a magnesium-rich diet are more health conscious in general. But there is no question that this important mineral plays a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Here’s a crash course in what magnesium can do to help your heart:
Regulate heart rhythm. Just as it helps nerve function throughout the body, magnesium is important for coordinating the activity of the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate the heartbeat. If your magnesium levels are low, you are more likely to be at risk for arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and heart palpitations. While doctors can temporarily stabilize irregular heartbeats with injections of a magnesium compound, this is generally not done except in an emergency situation.
Prevent angina. Magnesium helps keep coronary arteries from having spasms, which is what causes the intense chest pain known as angina. In fact, a deficiency of magnesium is the most common cause of such arterial spasms.
Control high blood pressure. By relaxing the muscles that control blood vessels and allowing blood to flow more freely, magnesium may play a role in reducing elevated blood pressure, an important factor in decreasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Magnesium’s effect on high blood pressure is further enhanced because it helps equalize the levels of potassium and sodium in the blood.
Limit complications of congestive heart failure. Because magnesium can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of arrhythmia, two frequent complications in those with congestive heart failure, a weakened heart may benefit from getting more of this mineral.
Reduce incidence of prediabetes and diabetes and improve insulin resistance. Several important studies have demonstrated that getting insufficient amounts of magnesium increases the risk of metabolic syndrome (prediabetes), type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and the development of diabetes complications. Moreover, a magnesium deficiency can negatively affect fasting blood glucose and insulin levels in nondiabetic individuals (which often leads to diabetes). I believe, however, that more research is needed on the role of magnesium in diabetes prevention.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Heart Health Center.
By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
As an integrative doctor, one of the things I’m acutely tuned into is nutrient deficiencies. I cannot overstate how important it is to give your body the nutrition it needs. Several times over my career, I saw firsthand how reversing a deficiency saved patient lives.
One of the nutrients I’m increasingly concerned we don’t get enough of is magnesium.
In addition to being one of my Awesome Foursome nutrients for heart health, magnesium is a vital player everywhere in the body. More than 300 different enzymatic reactions depend on it.
That’s a lot, in my book!
How Magnesium Helps Maintain Your Health
Don’t worry; I won’t inundate you with all of the reasons why it’s important to keep your magnesium level up. But I will share a handful of important ones…
- Magnesium helps keep your heart beating in a predictable rhythm
- Magnesium regulates your electrolyte balance, which keeps nerves and muscles working normally
- Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium, which keeps bones strong
- Magnesium is needed to produce glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant
- Magnesium helps regulate the breakdown of sugars and fats during digestion and manage your blood sugar level
- Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA
Perhaps most importantly, though, magnesium helps raise cellular energy and vibration. That’s because it’s a vital nutrient in producing ATP, which is literally the “energy of life.” This is why it’s one of my Awesome Foursome and why I take it every day, without fail.
5 Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
It’s easy to see why you don’t want to become deficient. Yet far too many of us are.
Unfortunately, you can’t rely on a simple blood test to know if you have a magnesium deficiency. Only a small percentage of the total magnesium in your body circulates in the blood. The rest is in your cells and other tissues.
That doesn’t mean, though that your body won’t send you signals that your levels are low. It often does. Here are a few to be on the lookout for…
One of the great benefits of magnesium is that it helps us relax, muscles especially.
Healthy muscles—the kind that work when and how we need them to—depend on having the right balance of magnesium, calcium, and potassium inside muscle cells. When magnesium levels are low, too much calcium gets inside. That overstimulates the cells and makes them jumpy. So, if you’re prone to charley horses or muscle twitches, a magnesium deficiency could be why. Every year I go fly fishing in the Bahamas, walking the flats sometimes several miles a day. Taking magnesium at bedtime has been a lifesaver for preventing cramps while I sleep!
Fluttering, racing, and skipping beats are a few of the ways people tend to describe heart palpitations, which admittedly are one of the scarier signs you may be low on magnesium. Again, it’s important to recognize that the heart is really just a big muscle—and it needs a lot of magnesium to make sure its cells contract in a smooth, rhythmic way. A deficiency can lead to some unsettling and even dangerous changes.
If you feel palpitations, be sure to get them checked out. Magnesium deficiencies are just one cause. You’ll want to rule out more serious cardiac issues.
High Blood Pressure
When it comes to blood pressure, magnesium’s biggest job is to relax the smooth muscle cells in artery walls. This helps the arteries dilate and stay flexible. When the opposite happens, and arteries become tense and rigid, blood pressure goes up (along with your heart attack risk). Gradually rising blood pressure can be a sign of many things, low magnesium levels among them.
Fatigue and Weakness
Given the vital role magnesium plays in cellular energy production, it’s easy to see how fatigue may be a sign that your levels are low. Just being tired, though, probably doesn’t mean you have a problem. If you’re deficient, your muscle strength will suffer, too.
Depression, Anxiety and/or Insomnia
If you suffer from depression, anxiety, and/or insomnia, it could be due, in part, to low magnesium. Magnesium affects the body’s ability to use an amino acid called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is active in the brain. GABA has a calming effect and it’s been linked with both anxiety and insomnia. Since magnesium helps your body use GABA more effectively, a deficiency may make it harder for you to relax—both during the day and at night. In the rat model, supplementing with magnesium has been shown to lessen depressive or anxious behaviors, and researchers have noted that this could have to do with magnesium’s role in moderating the stress response.
I also want to add here that stress—which itself is a cause of anxiety and insomnia— is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to depleting our magnesium stores. If you’re under pressure, I would definitely up your intake of magnesium to help stop nutrient loss. In addition, it’s been demonstrated that magnesium supplements can also help improve heart rate variability, a tangible measure of stress and cardiovascular risk.
How to Heal a Magnesium Deficiency
What should you do if you suspect your magnesium levels are low?
First off, add more magnesium-rich foods to your grocery list. Avocado, nuts and seeds, and dark leafy greens like spinach a few good places to start. (Check out my full list of foods that will raise your magnesium levels.)
Second, and probably most importantly, add a magnesium supplement to your vitamin regimen.
Eating more magnesium-rich foods will certainly help you. But if you really want to get your magnesium level up—and keep it there—you’re going to need some nutraceutical help.
Industrialized farming has slowly reduced the amount of magnesium that’s naturally in the soil, which means foods don’t absorb as much as they once did. Combine that with a situation where most of us are already low on magnesium, and you can see why an extra boost is so important.
How to Choose (and Use) a Magnesium Supplement
Now, what to buy… There are a wide range of magnesium supplements available and a wide range of magnesium types, some of them incredibly cheap. Don’t let price be your guide, though. If you really want to feel the benefits of higher magnesium levels, you’ll want to make sure you buy the product that’s most absorbable.
I like a broad spectrum supplement that combines these four forms of magnesium: orotate, citrate, glycinate, and taurinate.
These specific forms are effective at helping boost cellular energy production—and the more energy your cells produce, the faster they vibrate and the healthier you are. They’re also more absorbable than other forms.
As far as dosage goes, I recommend 400–800 mg a day. If you have cardiovascular issues, you’ll want to stay toward the high end of that range.
There’s only one group of people who shouldn’t take magnesium supplements, and that’s anyone with kidney issues. If you have any renal insufficiency, don’t start a magnesium supplement without first talking to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
Even if you don’t have magnesium deficiency symptoms, there’s no harm in adding it to your supplement regimen. In fact, I’d recommend it. With this nutrient, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Abbasi B et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-9.
- Bilbey DL and Prabhakaran VM. Muscle cramps and magnesium deficiency: case reports. Can Fam Physician. 1996 Jul;42:1348-51.
- Boyle NB, Lawton C, and Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 26;9(5). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/
- Möykkynen T et al. Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABA(A) receptors. Neuroreport. 2001 Jul 20;12(10):2175-9.
- Song Y. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of incident hypertension among middle-aged and older US women in a 10-year follow-up study. Am J Cardiol. 2006 Dec 15;98(12):1616-21.
- Wienecke E and Nolden C. Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake. MMW Fortschr Med. 2016 Dec;158(Suppl 6):12-16.
Confused about Magnesium and the Heart
Yes, I’m for real…
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!
Yes, I am for real. I really answer people’s questions without an expectation of YOU necessarily giving in return. I do support myself with this website, but the model that I use for building a website is something like, “Build it and they will come”.
The more people that come to my site, the more money that I will make because there are many ways to make money on websites and not just from people purchasing products.
So, while I created this site and answer questions without any expectation from anyone, this site is my full time profession- and ANYONE can make money simply by starting a website based on a niche that they are passionate about. If you (or anyone else reading this) would like to learn how to create a successful website with NO technical skills (I mean zero, zilch, nada!!)- only a passion about something, then I encourage you to take a look at the companySBI. If I could build a successful website with no web skills whatsoever, then anyone can do it- with the help of SBI anyway.
But back to your questions. I am not in a position to say that it’s ‘safe’ for anyone to take magnesium, and as a rule of thumb, if you are being followed by a doctor for medical conditions, then you should discuss taking magnesium with your doctor first.
OK. Magnesium CAN slow the heart rate and it MAY not be safe to take for those with slow heart rates or who are taking medications that slow heart rates. But your heart rate is not slow, you just have abnormal rhythms.
As far as why I don’t recommend people with Afib take magnesium (without being closely followed by their doctor), I’ve actually answered for someone else on the Atrial Fibrillation and Clots Breaking Loose thread.
Next, your PVC’s. You might be interested in someone else’s experience with their heart arrhythmias on the What Magnesium Did for My Heart thread.
Hope that these stories answered your questions and inspire you a bit…
Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
PS: If you found this website helpful, please consider using the
Easy Immune Health Product Store the next time you purchase your supplements online. Your support allows me to keep this site running and educating as many people as possible. Thank you!
Magnesium is essential to heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease1.
Magnesium is needed to support the electrical activity of the heart, keeping the heart beating over 30 million times a year!
Magnesium is also needed for blood pressure regulation and heart rhythm control.
Scarily, most people are not getting enough magnesium.
What’s more, certain conditions like leaky gut, intake of processed foods and prescription medications, can cause your body to be depleted of its magnesium stores faster than they can be replaced.
A magnesium deficiency can lead to many health problems, especially for the heart.
Magnesium exists in your cells, bones and muscles. That’s why it’s important for testing to go beyond just a mere analysis of the blood – you must know what’s happening inside the cell.
If you are concerned about your health and well-being, we’ve got you covered! Schedule a FREE call with a Drs. Wolfson health coach and get the guidance you need. Just and pick your coach.
Get tested to find out your intracellular level of magnesium today.
Why is Magnesium Necessary for Heart Health?
Research has shown that people with a higher intake of magnesium have a lower risk of heart disease2.
Studies have also revealed that the higher your blood level of magnesium the lower your risk of coronary artery calcification3. This is a crucial point.
Additionally, it has been discovered that higher levels of magnesium are associated with lower levels of the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein4, which is linked to heart problems.
The more inflammation, the higher your risk of EVERYTHING.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 cellular reactions including those that impact:
- Heart rhythm
- Blood pressure
- Artery structure
- Muscle function
- Cellular energy
The heart health benefits of magnesium include but are not limited to:
- Preventing arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats such as atrial fibrillation)
- Keeping blood vessels healthy
- Supporting normal blood vessel dilation and contraction
- Helping to reduce damage to the heart from oxidative stress
- Boosting the good HDL cholesterol
- Protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
- Anti-inflammatory action
What Are Cardiac Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency?
- Heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, PAC’s and PVC’s.
- Elevated blood pressure
- Blood sugar imbalances
What Are Other Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency?
- Muscle pain
- Anxiety or stress
- Headaches and migraines
How Much Magnesium Do You Need Daily?
Depending on your life status, you need at least 300-500 mg of magnesium daily, usually more.
Most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diet. Elderly people and those with other chronic health conditions tend to be at risk for magnesium deficiencies as mineral absorption is impaired in these populations.
Nature intended for you to get enough magnesium from food. There are many Paleo food sources of magnesium, but often, food alone is not enough and supplementation is needed.
That’s because food is less nutritious today than it was in the past. Modern farming practices have depleted the soil. Air pollution is prevalent. Processed foods are the norm for most Americans, and the excessive amounts of sugar in most diets comes at the expense of minerals like magnesium.
What Are the Best Forms of Magnesium for the Heart?
Of the nine common forms of magnesium, there are five that are imperative to heart health. These are magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, magnesium taurinate, magnesium bis-glycinate chelate, and magnesium orotate.
When used as a supplement, magnesium needs to be attached to another molecule to ensure absorption and use by the body.
Check out our newly launched Magne 5 supplement for heart health!
This is your go-to magnesium supplement for your heart. This supplement contains a unique blend of five different magnesium forms to support your cardiovascular system.
A combination of magnesium forms is the best way to power a healthy heart.
Keep reading below to find out how each form helps the heart out.
- Magnesium Malate This form consists of magnesium combined with elemental malic acid. This type of magnesium is well absorbed and supports energy levels. Malic acid supports energy production in cells and aids in detoxing heavy metals from the body. It is a highly bioavailable form to support blood pressure, heart rhythm, inflammation and nerve function.
- Magnesium Citrate This form is magnesium bound to citric acid. It has a high absorption level. It is good for sleep and heart muscle relaxation. It aids in supporting digestion and improving constipation. Again, it is highly bioavailable to support blood pressure, heart rhythm and the heart muscle.
- Magnesium Taurinate This form, consisting of magnesium and the amino acid taurine, is highly bioavailable to the cells. This form is exceptional for the heart as both the magnesium and taurine can improve the function of the heart muscle. This form can increase ATP (energy) production in the cell, which protects the heart muscle. This type also reduces blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity, further protecting the heart.
- Magnesium Bisglycinate This form of magnesium consists of magnesium and the amino acid glycine. It has a high absorption rate. It is also good for sleep and muscle relaxation. It has a calming effect on the nervous system. This type is chelated and stable so it has a non-laxative effect. Due to its high absorption level, it is helpful in regulating blood pressure, heart rhythms and the cellular activity of the heart muscle.
- Magnesium Orotate Magnesium orotate is a compound made up of magnesium and orotic acid. This is one of the most effective forms of magnesium for heart health. This form can actually penetrate cell membranes and deliver magnesium to the innermost compartments of the cells. It is needed for heart health as it can deliver magnesium to these cells and help with the recovery of these tissues. It is also the best way to reverse magnesium deficiencies. Together, all five of these forms work to support the electrical activity of the heart and aid in normal blood pressure regulation.
What Is the Best Way to Take the Magne 5?
Take 2 capsules daily.
We recommend taking a serving of magnesium after dinner and prior to bed. This helps to stimulate more restful sleep, calms the nervous system, relaxes the heart and promotes healthy bowel movements the next morning.
Magnesium supplements are generally safe for most people. If you have kidney or heart issues, be sure to consult your holistic doctor.
Summary of Information:
- Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body. It is involved in over 300 cellular reactions.
- Your heart muscle has one of the highest needs for magnesium. It needs enough, high-quality magnesium to function properly.
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Dibaba et al., 2014: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24518747
Successful improvement of frequency and symptoms of premature complexes after oral magnesium administration
Cristina Nádja Muniz Lima De FalcoI, II; Cesar GrupiI; Eduardo SosaI; Maurício ScanavaccaI; Denise HachulI; Sissy LaraI; Luciana SacilottoI; Cristiano F. PisaniI; José A. F. RamiresI; Francisco DarrieuxI
IInstituto do Coração da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo; Mogi Mirim, SP, Brazil
IIClínica Médica Core Vita, São Paulo; Mogi Mirim, SP, Brazil
BACKGROUND: Premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes (PVC and PsVC) are frequent and often symptomatic. The magnesium (Mg) ion plays a role in the physiology of cell membranes and cardiac rhythm.
OBJECTIVE:We evaluated whether the administration of Mg Pidolate (MgP) in patients with PVC and PsVC is superior to placebo (P) in improving symptoms and arrhythmia frequency.
METHODS: Randomized double-blind study with 60 consecutive symptomatic patients with more than 240 PVC or PsVC on 24-hour Holter monitoring who were selected to receive placebo or MgP. To evaluate symptom improvement, a categorical and a specific questionnaire for symptoms related to PVC and PsVC was made. Improvement in premature complex density (PCD) per hour was considered significant if percentage reduction was >70% after treatment. The dose of MgP was 3.0 g/day for 30 days, equivalent to 260mg of Mg element. None of the patients had structural heart disease or renal failure.
RESULTS: Of the 60 patients, 33 were female (55%). Ages ranged from 16 to 70 years old. In the MgP group, 76.6% of patients had a PCD reduction >70%, 10% of them >50% and only 13.4% <50%. In the P group, 40% showed slight improvement, <30%, in the premature complexes frequency (p < 0.001). Symptom improvement was achieved in 93.3% of patients in the MgP group, compared with only 16.7% in the P group (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Oral Mg supplementation decreases PCD, resulting in symptom improvement. (Arq Bras Cardiol 2012;98(6):480-487)
Keywords: Arrhythmias, cardiac; ventricular premature complexes; magnesium; ion channels.
Premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes (PVC and PsVC) are frequent and often symptomatic. Their prevalence can occur in up to 50% of the general population, especially1. The incidence of this arrhythmia increases with age2-5. The studies show that most of these patients had <1 PVC per hour, usually monomorphic and single forms2,3.
Symptoms related to PVC and PsVC can be very troublesome or even disabling. Patients may refer to these symptoms as a “skipped beat,” “punch in the chest,” palpitations, dyspnea, cough, dizziness, atypical chest pain, and near syncope1,6, affecting quality of life. These symptoms are usually noticed when the premature complexe density is high. Premature complexes are directly related to heart cell excitability, which is influenced by electrolyte balance in intracellular fluid. The interaction between magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) has particular relevance in the regulation of nerve and muscle cell permeability7-9, and in the ATPase – Na +/K + pump8,9. By acting on the physiology of cell membranes, Mg has a special role in cardiac rhythm maintenance8,9.
Mg is the second most abundant intracellular cation8,9 and plays an important role in the activity of many coenzymes and ATP-dependent reactions, including membrane-dependent energy transport9,10. Less than1% of magnesium is found in blood9 and only approximately 0.3% in serum11,12. Therefore, the intracellular deficiencies can be underdiagnosed8.
Lifestyles characterized by stress, low micronutrient intake, physical training, sleep deprivation, and the use of certain medications (diuretics, aminoglycosides, and cyclosporine) may lead to Mg deficiency. This ion is mainly found in seeds, nuts, vegetables, and wheat bran. In the general population, magnesium deficiency probably occurs due to low magnesium dietary intake13,14 ,that needs to maintain adequate intracellular values and, in the elderly, by decreasing appetite14.
This study aimed to assess whether oral administration of magnesium pidolate in patients with PVC or PsVC is superior to placebo in improving symptoms and the frequency of premature complex (PC), as well as whether symptom improvement is related to a significant reduction in arrhythmia frequency.
Study Design and Participants
Patients were recruited from the Arrhythmia Unit of the Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School and Core Vita Clinics. Patients were eligible if they were symptomatic and had more than 240 PVC or PsVC per day on 24h Holter monitoring(or more than 10/hour). Exclusion criteria were impaired renal function, structural heart disease (except mitral valve prolapse without regurgitation), or the use of concomitant drugs. The study was approved by the ethics committees of the participating centers in the study with the number CAPPesq-0613/10.
After providing written informed consent, all trial participants were randomly assigned to receive placebo (P) or magnesium pidolate (MgP), each administered in a blinded manner. All the patients did echocardiogram and none of them had structural heart disease or electrolyte disturbances; the determination of electrolytes( magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium) and the renal function were normal.
The dose of the MgP was 3.0 g/day for 30 days, which contains 260mg of Mg element. The magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium serum dosage was taken at baseline, at 15 days, and at 30 days after randomization.
The 24-hour Holter (3 channels) was performed at baseline and 30 days after the medication use. The count of the premature complexes was performed following the institution protocol and the premature complex density (PCD) was performed dividing the total number of atrial and ventricular extra systoles Holter counted in the number of hours of recording.
Follow-up visits occurred at randomization, after 15 days, and after 30 days.
To evaluate symptom improvement, a specific questionnaire related to PC was made with the following questions:1- Failure or “leaps” in the chest; 2-Couch with palpitations;3-Dizziness;4-Dyspnea:5-Sudoresis and/or chest pain. According to frequency of symptoms was made a “score” (Fig. 1). For this “score”, was only considered an improvement, if the patient had a reduction of at least two categories, for example, was in the score IV before treatment and migrated to the score I or II after treatment .Furthermore, it was made a categorical classification of patients with questioning whether there was improvement of symptoms, with only answers “yes” or “no “.
To meet the objectives of the study, we calculated the percentage changes in PCD /hour, and was considered success criteria, after treatment, the percentage reduction >70% per 24-hour Holter. Data are presented using summary statistics (mean, standard deviation, median, minimum, maximum). Outcome variables were compared between groups using a Mann-Whitney test15. The improvement of either PCD or symptoms was described using absolute and relative values. The existence of an association between groups and the improvement of each criterion was performed using Fisher’s exact test15. A p value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant. We described the values of magnesium and potassium before medication, and at 15 and 31 days after medication use, according to groups, and also compared the values between groups and moments using analysis of variance with repeated measures and 2 factors16.
A statistical power of 80% was chosen to detect a 60% symptom reduction with MgP and 30% with P, with a confidence interval of 95%.
A total of 60 patients were enrolled in the program between October 2010 and August 2011. Both treatment groups had similar baseline characteristics. The mean age was 46.47 (MgP) to 48.53 (P), and 55% were women (Table 1). Age description and PCD variation according to each group are described in Table 1.The average extra-systole in 24 hours in both groups was higher than 4.955 PC/day. Twelve patients had mitral valve prolapse without insufficiency (5 in group P and 7 in group MgP).
Frequency of Premature Complexes
In the P group, only 16.7% reported symptom improvement (score), whereas in the MgP group there was an improvement of 93.3% (p <0.001) (Table 2). As a categorical variable, there was improvement of symptoms in 93.3% of patients in the MgP, compared with only 13.3% in the placebo group (p <0.001) (Table 2). Figures 4 and 5 show the superiority of symptom improvement in patients receiving MgP compared with patients receiving P.
There were no significant changes in serum magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium during the study in both groups. Serum magnesium did not differ significantly between groups (p = 0.743) or between periods of time (before and after oral supplementation; p = 0.154); moreover, serum potassium did not differ statistically between groups or during follow-up (p = 0.415, p = 0.804, respectively). Table 2 and Figure 6 illustrate the changes in magnesium.
Study Discontinuation and Adverse Events
Only one patient in the MgP group had to discontinue the protocol after 10 days due to diarrhea, which was promptly resolved within 24 hours.
Oral magnesium supplementation not only decreases the density of premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes, but also improves symptoms compared to placebo. In the placebo group, only 16.7% showed improvement in symptoms compared to 93.3% of patients using MgP. Although most patients have improved PC density and symptoms, some patients have improved symptoms without a significant drop in PC density. The worsening of PCD in some patients in the placebo group can perhaps be explained by the great variability that involves spontaneous idiopathic arrhythmias. However, it is important to note that both groups were subjected to this variability, and even then, there was a statistically significant reduction of PCD in the magnesium group compared with the placebo group.
The mechanisms by which magnesium administration reduces the incidence of PC are not entirely known. Magnesium is regarded as a significant regulator of cardiac cell function. Depletion of magnesium, as shown in some studies, may be proarrhythmic14. Zehender et al17 demonstrated that increased intake of potassium and magnesium in patients with frequent ventricular arrhythmias can result in a moderate but significant antiarrhythmic effect, although the frequency of tachyarrhythmia and symptoms has not been changed17. However, this sample differs from our results, probably because the population is different: most patients had other cardiac co morbidities, and some were using other medications.
On the possibility of oral magnesium overload, it is important to note that patients in the MgP group had a normal Mg serum dosage during the 30-day follow-up, without major adverse effects or the need for suspension (except for a single patient with diarrhea). It is likely that intracellular levels of Mg are low, despite normal serum dosage, since serum dosage corresponds to only 0.3% of total magnesium. It would be interesting to find out minimally invasive, accurate methods to detect intracellular Mg levels18 to better understand many diseases, including cardiac arrhythmias.
There are some studies with fluorescent markers specific to magnesium (and Mg-Fluo-4/AM KMG-20/AM)19, that aim at the cation dosage in various cell types, such as platelets, red blood cells, lymphocytes12, cardiomyocytes (in rats)19 and epithelial sublingual cells18. Silver et al18 showed a significant correlation between the magnesium values in heart muscle biopsies from bypass surgery, with the values measured in sublingual epithelial cell smear. Moreover, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test for tissue Mg analysis. Recently, the Transient Receptor Potential Melastation channel and its role in hypomagnesemia were identified. Chronic Mg deficiency may be explained by changes in these specific membrane transporters12,20,21.
Magnesium is closely related to the maintenance of cellular ionic balance in combination with sodium, potassium, and calcium; it cooperates with the Na +/K+ ATPase pump8,9,14. Magnesium deficiency causes an increase in intracellular Na +, which allows cellular K + loss9. Mg also affects calcium homeostasis, and many calcium channels are magnesium dependent. In addition, Mg is needed for the release and action of parathyroid hormone9.
Some conditions are associated with magnesium deficiency, such as metabolic syndrome22,23, hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes, preeclampsia, and arrhythmias, and some clinical studies show that supplementation was beneficial in controlling these diseases14.. A single study showed that 365 mg of magnesium per day for 8 weeks lowers blood pressure24. According to Tong and Rude, magnesium reduces irregular heartbeat, and because intracellular Mg depletion may be present despite a normal serum Mg, magnesium deficiency must always be considered as a potential factor in cardiac dysrhythmias25. In the intensive care unit, magnesium is used when arrhythmias do not respond to conventional medications, and also in digitalis intoxication26. In heart failure, magnesium deficiency is caused by diuretic therapy, which increases the incidence of arrhythmia, among them premature complexes8,14.
The Mg balance among different compartments of the body occurs slowly, so that the concentration of Mg in one tissue does not correspond to that in another12. Less than 1% of total body Mg is present in blood9 and only 0.3% in serum11,12, so serum levels do not reflect the total body stores27,28. This may be one explanation for the improvement of arrhythmia with the replacement of Mg compared to the placebo group, even without changes in serum levels of this ion.
Although symptom improvement could be associated with a reduction in PC density, even in some cases in which this decline is not significant, symptoms also improved. This is partly explained by the placebo effect, as well as magnesium action in nerve cells. A nutrition education rich in magnesium may be a practical alternative for the treatment of this arrhythmia. However, this information must be evaluated in another study. It is also important to control serum Mg during treatment and to assess renal function.
Long-term follow-up was not performed; therefore, it is not possible to establish whether these patients are free from symptom recurrence after oral replacement of magnesium. Intracellular magnesium was not measured, but Mg serum dosages have shown that this replacement was safe and effective. The goal of reduction in the density of premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes and symptom improvement was achieved. The specific symptom score was not validated, because it does not exist in the literature. However, a simple categorical score was also made, with a good correlation between reduced PCD and symptom improvement. Moreover, the aim of this study was not to prevent life threatening arrhythmic events. It shows that the data should not be used as justification for treating patients with this objective, especially those with heart disease.
Simple oral Mg replacement reduced the density of premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes and specially improved symptoms in our study population (no cardiac heart disease).Clinical and molecular studies are needed to evaluate intracellular Mg and develop better targets for the daily needs of this ion, show probable deficiencies, and explain how to prevent and better treat patients with symptomatic premature ventricular and supraventricular complexes and no apparent heart disease.
The authors wish to thank the external collaborators Mrs. Alessandra Manera, Cacilda Motta, and Kérolem Ignatius for their technical support and Prof. Dr. Paulo Sampaio Gutierrez for valuable guidance. And also by the Laboratory Baldacci free supply of medication “Magnesium Pidolate and Placebo”
Potential Conflict of Interest
No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article
Sources of Funding
There were no external funding sources for this study.
This article is part of the thesis of doctoral submitted by Cristina Nádja Muniz Lima de Falco, from Faculdade de Medicina Instituto do Coração Universidade de São Paulo.
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Manuscript received January 17, 2012;
Manuscript revised January 17, 2012;
Accepted March 05, 2012.
The version of “Successful Improvement of Frequency and Symptoms of Premature Complexes after Oral Magnesium Administration” published as ahead of print by Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia underwent the following modification as required by the Editor on 10/11/2012: In the Methods section of the Abstract, PsVC/h was replaced by PsVC.