Magnesium – the Ultimate Heart Medicine

This edition offers a substantial breakthrough in cardiac medicine that could positively impact the lives of thousands of people and their families. When someone is in cardiac arrest or are having a stroke, having panic attacks with heart palpitations what is the first thing, the very first thing we would reach for? Our biological engine is seizing up (heart attack) what do we inject? For the next million years there is going to be only one answer and that answer is magnesium.

If you’re ever rushed to the hospital with a heart attack, intravenous magnesium could save your life. In a 1995 study, researchers found that the in-hospital death rate of those receiving IV magnesium was one-fourth that of those who received standard treatment alone. In 2003, a follow-up study of these same patients revealed an enduring effect of magnesium treatment. Nearly twice as many patients in the standard treatment group had died compared to those who received magnesium, and there were considerably more cases of heart failure and impaired heart function in the placebo group. In addition to increasing survival after heart attack, IV magnesium smoothes out arrhythmias and improves outcomes in patients undergoing angioplasty with stent placement.

Magnesium is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the heart. Magnesium’s role in preventing heart disease and strokes is generally well accepted, yet cardiologists have not gotten up to speed with its use. Magnesium was first shown to be of value in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in 1935. Since then there have been numerous double-blind studies showing that magnesium is beneficial for many types of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, ventricular premature contractions, ventricular tachycardia, and severe ventricular arrhythmias. Magnesium supplementation is also helpful in angina due to either a spasm of the coronary artery or atherosclerosis.

Heart palpitations, “flutters” or racing heart, otherwise called arrhythmias, usually clear up quite dramatically on 500 milligrams of magnesium citrate (or aspartate)once or twice daily or faster if given intravenously.

Dr. H. Ray Evers

A magnesium deficiency is closely associated with cardiovascular disease.[1] Lower magnesium concentrations have been found in heart attack patients[2] and administration of magnesium[3] has proven beneficial in treating ventricular arrhythmias.[4],[5],[6],[7] Fatal heart attacks are more common in areas where the water supply is deficient in magnesium and the average intake through the diet is often significantly less than the 200-400 milligrams required daily.[8]

Magnesium is proving to be very important in the maintenance of heart health and in the treatment of heart disease. Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are all effective in lowering blood pressure.[9],[10],[11],[12] Magnesium is useful in preventing death from heart attack and protects against further heart attacks.[13],[14] It also reduces the frequency and severity of ventricular arrhythmias and helps prevent complications after bypass surgery.

Magnesium deficiency appears to have caused eight million sudden coronary deaths in America during the period 1940-1994.[15]

Paul Mason

Researchers from Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago have determined that not having enough magnesium in your diet increases your chances of developing coronary artery disease. In a study of 2,977 men and women, researchers used ultrafast computed tomography (CT scans) of the chest to assess the participants’ coronary artery calcium levels. Measurements were taken at the start of the study—when the participants were 18- to 30-years old—and again 15 years later. The study concluded that dietary magnesium intake was inversely related to coronary artery calcium levels. Coronary artery calcium is considered an indicator of the blocked-artery disease known as atherosclerosis.

Almost all adults are concerned about the condition of their heart and cardiovascular system. Some live in constant fear wondering whether any ache, cramp or pain in their upper body is a sign of a heart attack. There isn’t an adult living in North America that hasn’t lost a loved one or a family member to heart disease. The fact is heart attacks kill millions every year.

Chernow et al in a study of postoperative ICU patients found that the death rate was reduced from 41% to 13% for patients without hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels). Other post heart surgery studies showed that patients with hypomagnesemia experienced more rhythm disorders. Time on the ventilator was longer,[16] and morbidity was higher than for patients with normal magnesium levels. Another study showed that a greater than 10% reduction of serum and intracellular magnesium concentrations was associated with a higher rate of postoperative ventricular arrhythmias. The administration of magnesium decreases the frequency of postoperative rhythm disorders[17] after cardiac surgery. Magnesium has proven its value as an adjuvant in postoperative analgesia. Patients receiving Mg required less morphine, had less discomfort and slept better during the first 48 hours than those receiving morphine alone.

It is established that clinically significant changes in a number of electrolytes occur in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Magnesium ions are an essential requirement for many enzyme systems, and clearly magnesium deficiency is a major risk factor for survival of CHF patients. In animal experiments, magnesium has been shown to be involved in several steps of the atherosclerotic process, and magnesium ions play an extremely important role in CHF and various cardiac arrhythmias.

Magnesium is also required for muscle relaxation.Lower magnesium levels can result in symptoms ranging from tachycardia and fibrillation toconstriction of the arteries, angina, and instant death.

Due to lack of magnesium the heart muscle can develop a spasm or cramp and stops beating. Most people, including doctors, don’t know it, but without sufficient magnesium we will die. It is important to understand that our life span will be seriously reduced if we run without sufficient magnesium in our cells and one of the principle ways our lives are cut short is through cardiac arrest (heart attack). Yet when someone dies of a heart attack doctors never say “He died from Magnesium Deficiency.” Allopathic medicine ignores the true causes of death and disease and in the field of cardiology this is telling. Magnesium is an important protective factor for death from acute myocardial infarction.[18]

[1] Harrison, Tinsley R. Principles of Internal Medicine. 1994, 13th edition, McGraw-Hill, pp. 1106-15 and pp. 2434-35

[2] Shechter, Michael, et al. The rationale of magnesium supplementation in acute myocardial infarction: a review of the literature. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 152, November 1992, pp. 2189-96

[3] Ott, Peter and Fenster, Paul. Should magnesium be part of the routine therapy for acute myocardial infarction? American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 4, October 1992, pp. 1113-18

[4] Dubey, Anjani and Solomon, Richard. Magnesium, myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmias: the role of magnesium in myocardial infarction. Drugs, Vol. 37, 1989, pp. 1-7.

[5] England, Michael R., et al. Magnesium administration and dysrhythmias after cardiac surgery. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 268, No. 17, November 4, 1992, pp. 2395-2402

[6] Yusuf, Salim, et al. Intravenous magnesium in acute myocardial infarction. Circulation, Vol. 87, No. 6, June 1993, pp. 2043-46

[7] Woods, Kent L. and Fletcher, Susan. Long-term outcome after intravenous magnesium sulphate in suspected acute myocardial infarction: the second Leicester Intravenous Magnesium Intervention Trial (LIMIT-2). The Lancet, Vol. 343, April 2, 1994, pp. 816-19

[8] Eisenberg, Mark J. Magnesium deficiency and sudden death. American Heart Journal, Vol. 124, No. 2, August 1992, pp. 544-49

[9] Supplemental dietary potassium reduced the need for antihypertensive drug therapy. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 50, No. 5, May 1992, pp. 144-45

[10] Ascherio, Alberto, et al. A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among U.S. men. Circulation, Vol. 86, No. 5, November 1992, pp. 1475-84

[11] Witteman, Jacqueline C.M., et al. Reduction of blood pressure with oral magnesium supplementation in women with mild to moderate hypertension. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 60, July 1994, pp. 129-35

[12] Geleijnse, J.M., et al. Reduction in blood pressure with a low sodium, high potassium, high magnesium salt in older subjects with mild to moderate hypertension. British Medical Journal, Vol. 309, August 13, 1994, pp. 436-40

[13] Manz, M., et al. Behandlung von herzrhythmusstorungen mit magnesium. Deutsche Medi Wochenschrifte, Vol. 115, No. 10, March 9, 1990, pp. 386-90

[14] Iseri, Lloyd T., et al. Magnesium therapy of cardiac arrhythmias in critical-care medicine. Magnesium, Vol. 8, 1989, pp. 299-306


[16] England MR, Gordon G, Salem M, Chernow B. Magnesium administration and dysrhythmias after cardiac surgery. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial. JAMA 1992; 268: 2395–402.

[17] The effect of preoperative magnesium supplementation on blood catecholamine concentrations in patients undergoing CABG. Pasternak, et al; Magnes Res. 2006 Jun;19(2):113-22;


[18] Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:456–62.


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