Magnesium Blocks Calcification of Arteries

Lack of sufficient Magnesium in the diet is considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and yet Magnesium deficiencies are extremely widespread in the U.S. population with some estimates at 80% of the population not getting the recommended daily allowance.

A January 2014 report from the Framingham Heart Study examined the connection between low magnesium and the development of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the community. The study found that individuals with the lowest serum magnesium levels were approximately 50% more likely to develop AF compared with those who had higher magnesium levels.

Laboratory studies (both cell culture and animal) have shown that magnesium blocks the calcification that leads to the atherosclerotic process underlying cardiovascular disease. In another report from the Framingham Heart Study, people who reported consuming extra magnesium had significantly less coronary artery calcification. For every 50 milligrams of magnesium consumed, there was a 22% reduction in coronary artery calcification. Furthermore, the chances of having any coronary artery calcification were nearly 60% lower in those with the highest magnesium intake, as reported in the January 2014 Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Additionally, it has been estimated that drinking water and beverages containing sufficiently high levels of magnesium (10–100 ppm) could potentially prevent 4.5 million heart disease and stroke deaths per year, worldwide. Several factors other than diet are known to worsen one’s magnesium status, including diabetes, use of diuretics, chronic alcohol consumption, and stress. More attention should be paid to the consequences of insufficient magnesium levels in the general population.


Hruby A1, O’Donnell CJ2, Jacques PF1, Meigs JB3, Hoffmann U4, McKeown NM5. Magnesium intake is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Heart Study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Jan;7(1):59-69.

Khan AM1, Lubitz SA, Sullivan LM, Sun JX, Levy D, Vasan RS, Magnani JW, Ellinor PT, Benjamin EJ, Wang TJ. Low serum magnesium and the development of atrial fibrillation in the community: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation. 2013 Jan 1;127(1):33-8.

Rosanoff A1, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev. 2012 Mar;70(3):153-64.

Rosanoff A. The high heart health value of drinking-water magnesium. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Dec;81(6):1063-5.

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