A study published in the Hypertension journal of the American Heart Association identified an increase in magnesium intake as a potential remedy for hypertension, or high blood pressure Some information about the risk factors and treatments for hypertension can be found in the embedded PDF.
The study took the form of a meta-analysis which included data taken from 2,028 participants across 34 clinical trials. It was observed that patients who had a magnesium intake of 300mg per day had reduced blood pressure and elevated blood magnesium levels within one month.
On her blog, Dr. Carolyn Dean discusses how many of the traditional allopathic treatments for hypertension have been shown to deplete the body of magnesium. Dr. Dean stresses the importance of adding magnesium supplements to a long-term treatment plan involving thiazide and loop diuretics, with evidence to show that this significantly reduces blood pressure.
The results of the meta-analysis clearly showed that patients who took magnesium supplements tested for much lower blood pressure than those that did not take the supplements.
Lead author of the study Dr. Yiqing Song further pointed out the low cost and relative safety of magnesium as a treatment option for hypertension, suggesting it be considered as an option for treating high blood pressure or for patients at high risk of developing hypertension.
Across a series of controlled studies, many patients were given magnesium supplements of 368mg. The average reduction in systolic blood pressure across these groups of patients was 2 millimeters of mercury, while the average reduction in diastolic blood pressure was 1.8 millimeters of mercury.
All the clinical trials and studies analyzed as part of the project were randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials. This means that some people in each study were supplemented with magnesium, while some were given a placebo, with neither the researchers nor the participants being made aware of who was given which.
The lengths of the studies ranged from three weeks to six months and the intake of magnesium among non-placebo participants ranged from 240mg to 960mg per day for the duration of each study. The researchers noted that the findings supported a causal link between magnesium supplementation and lowered blood pressure.
In the short video attachment, you can learn more about the three key minerals that have been identified as helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
The evidence from the meta-analysis, which was consistent with previous studies, showed that the beneficial effects of taking a magnesium supplement in terms of reducing blood pressure may only prove effective among those who are deficient in magnesium to begin with. Indications of this suggestive evidence therefore point to optimal magnesium intake as a way to treat or prevent hypertension. Laboratory studies have confirmed that magnesium helps to prevent constriction of blood vessels within the body, which improves blood flow.
A Magnesium-Rich Diet
The studies looked at participants who were taking magnesium supplements, but it is also possible to get an optimum magnesium intake through a properly planned diet. The best natural sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, nuts, seeds and raw cacao.
Magnesium is also present in relatively high amounts in other foods, including fruits such as avocados, figs, raspberries, bananas, other green vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, peas, sprouts and green beans, seafood, whole grains, tofu and dark chocolate. Increased intake of a variety of these foods will naturally increase magnesium levels in the body.
In the infographic attachment, you can view some statistics on the prevalence of hypertension in the UK.