April 27, 2012

You don’t have to die
of a heart attack

If Pharma had a potion that could reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by 38%, would you be interested? Suppose Pharma announced that the potion was 100% safe and dirt cheap? Might that interest you more? Well, if it was Pharma’s potion, you could be 100% certain they would blast it on the billboards and on the rooftops. Since you haven’t heard such a huge announcement, you know Pharma can’t deliver anything that has so much promise.

But there is a nutrient that can reduce your risk of sudden cardiac death by 38%. It’s simply the mineral magnesium.

I showed you on Wednesday how this nutrient can help diabetics avoid heart disease. This study further confirms how powerful this nutrient is.

This was a prospective study on 14,232 people between the ages of 45 and 64 at the start of the study. During an average of 12 years follow up, the researchers recorded 264 cases of sudden heart death. After adjusting for potential confounders, they found a highly significant association. They found that higher magnesium levels reduced death. And the higher the serum levels, the more benefit.

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The authors concluded, “This study suggests that low levels of serum magnesium may be an important predictor of sudden cardiac death. Further research into the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation for those considered to be at high risk for sudden cardiac death is warranted.”

The cause of most sudden heart deaths in the U.S. are heart attack or sudden rhythm problem. A cheap mineral trumps statins in protecting you from such an event. But it didn’t make the news! And it won’t as long as Big Pharma runs the FDA and the media.

I don’t take magnesium. Why? My diet is just packed with the foods that carry it naturally. I recently checked my serum magnesium level and it was spot on. I don’t expect my patients or readers to be as fanatic as I am about diet. So, please consider getting your serum, or even better, your red blood cell magnesium levels checked. Aim for the top quartile of the reference range by diet or supplements. I like XCell Magnesium available online or from 877-341-2703.

If you have a magnesium deficiency, the deficiency makes it more difficult to absorb magnesium. I used to recommend magnesium injections to overcome this problem. But one of my mentors and former NIH researcher Russell Jaffee, MD showed me another way. A supplement called choline citrate, when you take it with water and magnesium, can form small particles called micelles around the magnesium. Your stomach can absorb the micelles fast and without effort. Dr. Jaffee suggests that you first take magnesium (200 mg as glycinate, ascorbate, or citrate), followed by one teaspoon of choline citrate in four ounces of water.

You can find magnesium at any health food store and choline citrate is available online. The latter will quickly and effortlessly usher the needed mineral into your body.

The only risks I know about magnesium are loose stools and the possibility of accumulating too much if you have advanced renal failure. The glycinate form and amino acid chelate can help prevent loose stools. You shouldn’t need to take more than 1,000 mg daily.

Ref: "Serum magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study," Peacock JM, Folsom AR, et al, Am Heart J, 2010; 160(3): 464-70.

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