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How much magnesium do you need to take to benefit your heart?


Q:

How much magnesium do you need to take to benefit your heart?

In your article about Tim Russert’s death, you said that in order to keep your heart healthy, you need to get plenty of magnesium. How much should you take?

A: If you don’t have enough magnesium your heart will literally stop beating. It’s tough to say exactly how many heart attacks are a direct result of magnesium deficiency, but even ONE is too many, as far as I’m concerned.

When Tim Russert died a few weeks back, it was a glaring example of how the medical establishment has heart disease all wrong. Instead of focusing on cholesterol, his doctors should have been focusing on keeping his homocysteine levels low and his magnesium levels high. (You can click here to read the article: Russert’s untimely death raises questions about how we’re treating heart disease.)

I’ve always been a big fan of magnesium for overall health-it’s a great boon to bones and bodily tissues of all types, it helps release stored energy from your muscles, it can help with osteoporosis, and it has powerful effects on the brain. As far back as the 1970s, I used magnesium in emergency medicine to help limit brain damage in stroke victims (a practice which has since been validated by scientific studies).

It’s currently estimated that more than half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium-and you wonder why heart attacks are the number one killer

I could go on about magnesium, but I still haven’t answered the question. According to the National Academy of Sciences, men over 30 years old should get 420 mg/day, and women over 30 should get 320 mg/day. That seems about right to me.

The best sources of magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, and chard.

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