Magnesium Deficiency Linked to Stiff Arteries

Wednesday, February 06, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Research demonstrates that in people 55 and older, the lack of magnesium1 is an independent risk factor for stiff arteries. Magnesium deficiency is a common problem in Americans. Correcting this deficiency could have a major impact on cardiovascular health; it could also help correct the source of problems such as high blood pressure. 

Magnesium is an important cofactor in several hundred enzyme systems relating to healthy function including those that influence cardiovascular health.  We know that magnesium is a primary anti-inflammatory mineral helping resolve the low-grade inflammation that is linked to cardiovascular problems. We know that magnesium helps smooth out the electrical signals to the heart, which helps stabilize heart beats in a healthy way. This new study places emphasis on magnesium’s ability to influence the health of arteries.

Other significant research in the past few years focused on a number of mechanisms involved with how magnesium influences arterial health2. The net result of these multiple influences is improvement in vascular tone by reduced inflammation, improved vasodilation, and supporting the production of friendly nitric oxide (eNOS), which is essential for arterial relaxation. 

Additionally, scientists have now discovered how magnesium has a direct electrical activity within the walls of the arteries to help them relax. The new research focuses on magnesium transporters that bring magnesium inside cells of the arteries so that the relaxing electrical influence of magnesium can occur.

A healthy cardiovascular system is one that handles stimulation with a balance of relaxation. If you can’t handle stimulation or activation of the system then your energy will not be good, your mood will suffer, and so will your motivational drive. Science clearly tells us that too much tension or excess in the activation becomes problematic once the relaxation side of the equation becomes depleted. To restore health you must restore the system of balance in your circulatory system. Many factors are involved, not just magnesium. However, it is clear that if you lack magnesium your “relaxation team” is in trouble.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Low Magnesium Increases Risk for Arterial Stiffness  Nephrol Dial Transplant.  Van Laecke S, Maréchal C, Verbeke F, Peeters P, Van Biesen W, Devuyst O, Jadoul M, Vanholder R.
  2. ^ Magnesium Influence on Blood Pressure  Magnes Res.  Yogi A, Callera GE, Antunes TT, Tostes RC, Touyz RM.

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