Low magnesium levels are associated with an increased risk for heart failure, according to a study from the University of Minnesota. More than 14,700 adults between the ages of 45- and 64-years-old were assessed for blood levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium at the start of the study. This data was compared to heart failure risk during the subsequent 20 to 22 years. Results showed that 2,250 of the participants suffered heart failure events during that time. Those with the lowest compared to the highest blood levels of magnesium were at 71% higher risk for a heart failure event. Participants in the highest category for phosphorus had a 34% higher risk and those in the highest calcium category had a 24% higher risk for heart failure.
IN PERSPECTIVE: Magnesium-rich foods include dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. It is estimated that three out of four Americans are low in this mineral. Most one-pill-a-day multiple supplements do not contain enough, so if you think your diet might be low, add a magnesium supplement of about 250 milligrams a day.
Lutsey P, Alonso A, Michos E, et al: Serum magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium are associated with risk of incident heart failure. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014;100:756-764.