Sudden cardiac death accounts for more than half of all heart disease deaths. And roughly 55% of men and 68% of women who die of sudden cardiac death have never been diagnosed with heart disease.
In animal studies, magnesium keeps heartbeats regular, leading scientists to speculate that it could protect the heart. So researchers tracked roughly 88,000 women for 26 years to see if their magnesium intake was linked to sudden death. It was.
Those who reported consuming the most magnesium ( more than 345 mg a day) had a 34% lower risk of sudden cardiac death than those who consumed the least (260 mg or less a day).( The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 320 mg a day for women and420 mg a day for men). And women with highest concentrations of magnesium in their blood had a 77% lower risk than those with the lowest concentrations.
What to do: This study doesn't prove magnesium can prevent sudden cardiac death. But it can't hurt to eat more leafy greens, beans, whole grains, nuts, and other magnesium-rich foods.
Am. j. Clin. Nutr. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.002253
Signs of magnesium deficiency
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- And restless leg syndrome