The Wonders of Magnesium

New research published in the American Heart Association’s journal illustrates one third of adults in the United States have high blood pressure and of those only half have it under control, quite staggering really. They also identified that a simply everyday ingredient, magnesium possibly has the potential to help keep it under control. With high blood pressure, as we know in the UK, increasing your risk of two of the leading causes of death – heart disease and stroke. Therefore controlling blood pressure is an essential healthcare objective. In this study they realised seventy million people in the United States are affected by high blood pressure, often called the silent killer. It is given that name due to often not having any symptoms or warning signs, a little like AF in seriousness and concern in that way, but that is just my view.

This is where magnesium fits in, it is already recognised as essential for over three hundred biochemical reactions in the body. While ongoing research has been unclear as to its place in reducing high blood pressure it has been widely documented to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, support a healthy immune system, help retain bone strength and maintain a steady heartbeat.

This new research includes data from 34 clinical trials and 2,028 participants. The research, which was funded by the Indiana University School of Medicine Strategic Research initiative and after it had been carried out, it illustrated positive results showing an association between a daily intake of magnesium and a reduction in blood pressure. It showed that individuals who had a median of 368mg of magnesium daily for an average of 3 months recorded a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 2.00mm and a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 1.78 mm.

Not only does this show magnesium supplements could be considered as an option to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, but an inexpensive one at that. It also illustrated that these individuals actually had reduced blood pressure within the first of those three months. They also found that elevated blood magnesium levels improved the blood flow also, this being an important factor in helping to reduce blood pressure.

In order to increase our magnesium intake we do not have to take supplements, it can be managed through a healthy diet. Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD., Professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania, says, “The study highlights the importance of consuming a healthy diet that provides the recommended amount of magnesium, this being a strategy for maintaining and helping to control blood pressure.the recommended daily amount being, 368mg per day. Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, some breakfast cereals, and some other fortified foods. Even if his is not totally conclusive, and not written that I have noticed at the same time in the British Heart news, quotes, reports my way of thinking is, where is the harm in watching our food intake more seriously, keeping in mind the thought of increasing our daily magnesium levels. We do not need to see results immediately, but it will be interesting to see when our blood pressure etc is next recorded if things have changed. I believe, as I think you have already gauged, that what we eat is actually hugely important to our health and how our body functions. Far more so than we stop to give sufficient thought and credit to.

Then for all the coffee lovers amongst us we could top off our delicious healthy meal with a good full bodied, full flavoured coffee. Coffee has been recognised to stimulate thermogenesis, this is how our body turns our food into energy. It is also believed consuming a cup of coffee fuels your metabolism in such a way it increases the amount of calories you burn in a day. It is now also known that by drinking our to five cups of this drink a day, you are not doing the wrong thing, but instead lowering your risk of colorectal cancer by 15%, so it just gets better.

It has also been discovered in a study at a University of Minnesota that a high intake of coffee can protect your liver and decrease your risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, this being the most common type of liver cancer. So at the end of your magnesium filled meal, enjoy that cup of coffee, all prescribed by your doctor!

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