Blood pressure can be significantly lowered in just one month with magnesium, study finds

A study found that everyday magnesium intake significantly reduces blood pressure in a month, reported the Daily Mail.

It stated that taking the recommended dose of 300 milligrams (mg) for males lowered hypertension and boosted the flow of blood. Researchers suggested that people who suffer from, or are at-risk of, high blood pressure should consider taking magnesium supplements. Thirty-four studies with a total of 2,028 participants were reviewed by the researchers from Indiana University. The findings were published in the journal Hypertension.

The results of the study showed that taking a 300 mg magnesium supplement every day for one month is enough to significantly lower hypertension and improve blood flow.

Dr. Yiging Song, lead author of the study, told The Daily Mail that magnesium supplements should be considered for lowering blood pressure in “high-risk persons or hypertension patients.”

The recommended dose of magnesium supplements a day by the United Kingdom’s National Health Services (NHS)  is 300 mg for men aged between 19 and 64, while women need 270 mg.

However, other experts argued that dietary sources of minerals, such as leafy greens, bananas, and nuts, are sufficient to raise the level of magnesium in the body.

The study was also reported by Live Science in 2016.

“Our findings support a causal of anti-hypertensive effect of magnesium supplements daily in adults,” the researchers wrote, according to the Live Science report.

“This study underscores the importance of consuming a healthy diet that provides the recommended amount of magnesium as a strategy for helping to control blood pressure,” Penny Kris-Etherton, an American Heart Association spokeswoman and a professor of nutrition at the University of Pennyslvania, said in a statement reported in the Live Science article.

Magnesium and its benefits

Magnesium is one of the six essential macro-minerals that comprise 99 percent of the body’s mineral content. It plays an important role in helping build bones, enabling nerves to function, and is essential to the production of energy from food.

Magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods and beverages. You can increase your magnesium levels by eating magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, fish, bananas, dried fruit, and nuts and seeds. Tap, mineral, and bottled waters are also sources of magnesium, but the level of magnesium in water varies by the source and brand. (Related: 11 Foods That Increase Magnesium Levels, Prevent High Blood Pressure, Blood Clots & Muscle Fatigue.)

Don’t overdose

However, having too much of something is also harmful for the body. Be mindful of your magnesium levels as excessive dietary intake of the said mineral also has side effects.

Taking in too much magnesium can lead to magnesium overdose which is technically known as hypermagnesemia. This occurs when there is too much magnesium in the body and can occur, although rarely, in people with chronic health conditions. It is most often seen in people with kidney failure after they take medications containing magnesium, such as laxatives or antacids. People with heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders are also at a higher risk. Other symptoms include lethargy, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, urine retention, respiratory distress, and even cardiac arrest.

According to the NHS Office of Dietary Supplements, although too much magnesium from food does not pose a health risk in healthy individuals because the kidneys eliminate excess amount in the urine, high doses of magnesium from dietary supplements or medications can result in diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping.

Instead, some experts recommend people to absorb magnesium topically or through the skin, for example through bath salts.

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