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Magnesium to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death

Most men and women who succumb to heart disease die suddenly without any known history of heart problems. As I note in my 3-min. NutritionFacts.org video How Do Nuts Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death?, up to 55% of men and 68% of women have no clinically recognized heart disease before sudden death. Of course they obviously had rampant heart disease, it just wasn’t recognized until they were lying in the morgue. So if there was ever a case to be made for primary prevention—starting to eat healthier right now, tonight—before symptoms arise, sudden cardiac death is it. Especially since our first symptom is often our last. OK, so how do we do it?

Our story begins 43 years ago with a fascinating paper in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Sudden Death and Ischemic Heart Disease: Correlation With Hardness of the Local Water Supply.” There appeared to be “an increased susceptibility to lethal arrhythmias—fatal heart rhythms—among residents of soft-water areas.” So maybe one of the minerals found in hard water is protective, but which one? Well, researchers decided to cut some hearts open and find out.

On autopsy the hearts of sudden cardiac death victims had significantly lower magnesium concentrations compared to people that just got hit by a bus or something. They thought there might be a connection, but it wasn’t put to the test until recently. Why the decades-long delay in testing a potentially cheap simple way to help prevent our number one killer? That’s exactly the problem: cheap. Where’s magnesium found? Whole grains, greens, beans, nuts, and seeds. Who’s going to fund the study? The pumpkin seed lobby? Big spinach? If magnesium was found to be protective, who’s going to profit? Who’s going to benefit other than, of course, the hundreds of thousands of Americans that keel over dead every year without even being able to say goodbye to their families.

Watch my NutritionFact.org pick for today’s video above to see what the new studies discovered. For more on preventing sudden cardiac death, see Our Number One Killer Can Be StoppedChina Study on Sudden Cardiac Death, and Boosting Heart Nerve Control.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: debaird™/Flickr

Related:
Stent or Prevent? Ending Heart Disease
Reversing Heart Disease
China Study On Sudden Cardiac Death

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Healthy Aging, Heart & Vascular Disease, Videos, , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

48 comments

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8:35AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

good to know, thank you

9:55AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Sad but true, that there will be no studies done because no corporation will benefit monetarily.

My very hard water isn't good for the pipes, but it's good for my heart. Yay!

3:04AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

Thanx.

8:06PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

thanks

10:30AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

thanks

avoid DECT phone use if you can - try to use landline phone

according to Dr. Magda Havas, PhD Digital portable phones affects the Heart:

"You can replace your cordless phone with a landline (wired phone) and you can replace WiFi (in homes and schools) with wired routers.

If you or someone you know has these symptoms (rapid or irregular heart beat, pain or pressure in chest, high or low blood pressure), visit your doctor and share this video."

video and more info here:

www.magdahavas.com/dect-phones-affect-the-heart/

10:30AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

thanks

avoid DECT phone use if you can - try to use landline phone

according to Dr. Magda Havas, PhD Digital portable phones affects the Heart:

"You can replace your cordless phone with a landline (wired phone) and you can replace WiFi (in homes and schools) with wired routers.

If you or someone you know has these symptoms (rapid or irregular heart beat, pain or pressure in chest, high or low blood pressure), visit your doctor and share this video."

video and more info here:

www.magdahavas.com/dect-phones-affect-the-heart/

4:02AM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Thanks for the share.

10:17PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Although brocolli is supposed to be a good source, the soil in Australia is (apparently) very depleted of this mineral, so I take a magnesium supplement every day as well as an epsom salts bath every couple of weeks. When I first started about 2 years ago, I was surprised to discover how quickly my leg-cramps disappeared - as did those nerve 'pings' (the ones that make you feel like someone's sticking pins in you) and - a major bonus if you have IBS - so did much of my flatus !

5:17PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Thank you for a great article Dr Greger, and useful comments from Care2 members as a bonus.

2:50PM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

I take magnesium every day. I work out every day and very rarely get pain from muscles etc. I put this down to taking magnesium.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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