In this article, I’m going to talk about the connection between magnesium and high blood pressure.
First of all, magnesium is a mineral found in the Earth, in plants, in animals and in humans.
60% of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones.
But magnesium is also found in muscles, tissues, and fluids.
Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function.
Studies have shown that an increase in magnesium can lower your blood pressure.
A Harvard study with over 70,000 people found that those with the highest magnesium intake had the healthiest blood pressure numbers.
A follow-up study by a university in the U.K. showed people who took a magnesium supplement showed a reduction in their blood pressure.
That’s not all.
A University of Minnesota study found that the risk for high blood pressure was 70% lower in women who had normal to high magnesium levels.
In another research study, scientists observed 82 people with high blood pressure between the ages of 40 and 75 years of age.
Each participant took about 450 mg of Magnesium supplement per day for four months.
On average, the participants experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure.
So how exactly does magnesium lower your blood pressure?
Magnesium increases the production of Nitric Oxide in your body.
Nitric Oxide helps your blood vessels relax, allowing your blood to flow more freely through your arteries, which results in lowering your blood pressure.
If you take a Magnesium supplement with around 365 to 450 mg of magnesium per day, it’s likely to show some results in around 3 months.
Although most nutritionists will ask you to try out food-based sources of magnesium first, sometimes that might not be enough.
This is especially true for those who have been deficient in magnesium for a long time.
If you’re going to take a magnesium supplement, please make sure your doctor knows, especially if you’re taking blood pressure medications right now.
Although most people do fine when taking both of these together, there’s a chance that taking a magnesium supplement with your blood pressure meds, might lower your blood pressure too much.
When you take a magnesium supplement, experts suggest that magnesium Taurate is the best for reducing blood pressure.
This stems from the fact that it contains taurine, an amino acid, which also plays a role in regulating blood pressure.
If you’re already on a blood pressure medication, it’s best to consult your doctor before supplementing with magnesium.
Even if you’re not on any medication, magnesium could still cause other side effects when taken in higher doses.
Usually, most adults can tolerate a daily dose of up to 500 mg taken orally.
If the aim is to reduce blood pressure, you’re probably not going to need that much anyway.
But anything higher comes with a risk of side effects such as diarrhea and nausea.
In extreme cases, a significant overdose of magnesium may cause irregular heartbeat, slow breathing, and coma.
But more often than not, anywhere between 320 mg and 420 mg should be good enough to have an effect on your blood pressure.
Some studies have also shown that eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and food that is high in magnesium, can actually lower your blood pressure even more when you combine it with taking a magnesium supplement.
If you’re pregnant or know someone who is, don’t be afraid of magnesium supplements.
Doses lower than 350 mg a day are considered to be safe for pregnant women.
Anything higher than that has a risk of causing severe diarrhea.
In most cases, it is safe for up to 5 days before the delivery.
If the amount or the number of days exceeds that, it may cause bone defects and brain health issues in the baby.
Sourcing magnesium from foods is one of the best ways to prevent high blood pressure and also to help the supplementation work better.
When looking for dietary sources of magnesium, consider consuming more of those foods that are rich in dietary fiber.
These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, among others.
Also, try to reduce processed foods, like fast food, or frozen, canned, dried, baked, or pasteurized foods, because the refining process usually depletes foods of magnesium.
Another way to get magnesium from your diet is to look for fortified foods such as breakfast cereals.
To enjoy the complete benefits of this helpful mineral, start loading up with foods that are rich in magnesium.
Foods with leafy greens such as spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and collard greens and all high in magnesium.
Include some fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel in your diet as well.
If you’re a vegan, go for seeds such as flax, chia, and pumpkin.
Most legumes, including chickpeas, beans, and peas are also excellent sources of magnesium.
Snack on some almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts on the go.
Last but not the least, add fruits such as avocados and bananas to your daily diet.
Even though lowering your blood pressure may be the reason you’re considering taking magnesium, it also has a lot of other positive benefits for your body as well.
In fact, magnesium is known to be important in over 600 cellular reactions in your body.
Magnesium supports brain health by improving memory and learning.
Magnesium is also recommended to relieve muscle cramps as it regulates muscle contraction.
When I used to run, I would take magnesium supplements to stop my muscle cramps, and it worked.
Magnesium also helps you sleep better by calming nerve activities at night.
Plus, it’s also been known to help in reducing migraine headaches.
Lastly, magnesium can affect your mood and could potentially reduce depression in some people.
So if you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement.
Your doctor might urge you to start eating more foods that are high in magnesium, but she also might approve of you taking a magnesium supplement.