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Magnesium May Decrease Risk for Sudden Cardiac Death

Posted Dec 21 2010 12:00am

A new study shows that getting enough dietary magnesium may help lower your risk for sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an abrupt loss of heart function resulting in death. An astounding 7 million die each year worldwide from SCD, yet anywhere from 50-64% of victims had no prior symptoms at all. For this reason, primary-prevention is crucial to decrease the incidence of SCD.
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health looked at blood levels of magnesium in patients who died of SCD vs. trauma. What they found was that those who died of SCD had significantly lower levels of magnesium than those of their counterparts. Head researcher, Dr. Stephanie Chieve stated, “In our study, [a high magnesium diet] is associated with lower risk of sudden cardiac death. The majority of Americans do not meet the recommended daily allowance for magnesium intake. Therefore increasing magnesium intake may provide a potential strategy for the primary prevention of sudden cardiac death."
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for more than 300 different functions in the human body, including the regulation of heart rhythm, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Magnesium is found in a variety of foods and well balanced diet should supply adequate intake. However, due to poor eating habits and processed foods, most people simply are not getting enough. It is recommended that adult males and females intake 450 mg/day and 320 mg/day, respectively. Most dietary source of magnesium come from dark green, leafy vegetables, however, other rich sources include fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, soy, and whole grains.
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