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New Analysis Suggests Magnesium Lowers Blood Pressure

The scientific community has been at odds over whether magnesium has an effect on blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Herfordshire in the United Kingdom conducted a meta-analysis to address this issue and found that the ability of magnesium to lower blood pressure, while small, was clinically significant.

The study was published online ahead of print on February 8, 2011, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Twenty-two trials were involved in the analysis, with a total of 1,173 participants. Magnesium levels started at 120 mg and ranged up to 973 mg. The trials lasted from 3 to 24 weeks.

The researchers found that supplementation resulted in a 3 to 4 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 2 to 3 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure. They also discovered that supplementation over 370 milligrams daily produced the best results.

Lowering systolic blood pressure by 0.8 to 2 mmHg has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in blood vessels when the heart is resting. It is represented by the bottom number on a blood pressure reading and anything above 90 mmHg is considered high. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in blood vessels when the heart is beating and is represented by the top number in a blood pressure reading. Readings above 140 mmHg are considered high.

In addition to blood pressure and heart health, magnesium intake has also been linked to helping with bone development, healthy teeth and detoxification. A supplement is an effective way to get your daily magnesium but there are also many dietary sources of magnesium including green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains, nuts and milk.

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