Published on January 17, 2022
The FDA has acknowledged the relationship between magnesium intake and a reduced risk of high blood pressure. What other nutrients can help as well?
- The FDA is acknowledging a relationship between magnesium intake (from both foods and dietary supplements) and a reduced risk of high blood pressure
- Magnesium has been shown to have a strong relationship to cardiovascular health, unfortunately, up to 60% of the US population is estimated to be deficient in magnesium
- Getting enough vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and sunshine exposure have also been shown to benefit cardiovascular health and help reduce the risk for high blood pressure
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new qualified health claim for magnesium in reducing the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). In other words, the FDA is acknowledging a relationship between magnesium intake (from both foods and dietary supplements) and a reduced risk of high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure is Labeled a “Silent Killer”
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of the adult population in the United States has high blood pressure, and many of them are unaware that they have it. With no outward symptoms in most cases, it has been labeled a “silent killer” and left untreated, can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other health consequences, leading to premature death.
What is considered high for a blood pressure reading? A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, or the amount of pressure exerted on the artery walls when the heart is beating. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure or the amount of pressure when the heart is at rest.
The stages of high blood pressure begin when the systolic blood pressure is 130 or higher, or the diastolic blood pressure is 80 or higher.
Magnesium has Many Benefits for Cardiovascular Health
Magnesium has been shown to have a strong relationship to cardiovascular health. One previously reviewed study showed how magnesium uses the same pathway as statins to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol to reduce inflammation, clotting, and plaque formation in the arteries. Another study illustrated how magnesium helps regulate the heartbeat by controlling the sodium potassium pump and extending the relaxation period after contraction, which may help lower the risk of atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of magnesium supplementation on arterial stiffness found that arterial stiffness was significantly improved in the magnesium group compared to the placebo group after 24 weeks of daily magnesium supplementation (p<0.01).
Adequate intake of magnesium from the diet or supplemental sources is necessary for maintaining cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of cardiac events, even the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, up to 60% of the US population is estimated to be deficient in magnesium. Deficient magnesium levels can be due to insufficient magnesium in the diet, as well as problems with kidney function, alcoholism, and the use of diuretics and proton pump inhibitors, and deficiency can contribute to many other health problems beyond cardiovascular health.
Vitamin D, Omega-3s, and Sunshine can also Help Reduce High Blood Pressure Risk
Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Using the data participants have provided for the GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute study, we assessed the association between vitamin D level and risk of being diagnosed with high blood pressure among participants aged 50 years and older. The incidence rate among those with vitamin D levels of 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L) or higher was 51% lower than the rate among those with vitamin D levels less than 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) (P=0.02).
Several studies have shown a positive correlation between omega-3s and blood pressure. One such study by Filipovic et al. compared the Omega-3 Index to blood pressure among 2036 healthy, young adults with normal blood pressures and found a significant inverse relationship, where those with the highest Omega-3 Index had the lowest blood pressure. The effect was seen with both systolic and diastolic measurements.
Research also suggests that avoidance or lack of sunshine may be a risk factor for increased blood pressure and death from heart attacks, with one study concluding that avoidance of sunshine resulted in a shorter life expectancy comparable to the shortened life expectancy of smokers! Benefits from increased nitric oxide production include dilated coronary arteries, lowered blood pressure, and reduced risk of angina – a condition characterized by severe chest pain and inadequate blood supply to the heart.
A paper published by Lindqvist et al. summarized findings from an observational, questionnaire-based cohort study of 23,593 women. The authors found that, compared to those with the greatest amount of sun exposure, women with low sun exposure habits had a 41% higher risk of hypertension, and women with moderate sun exposure habits had a 15% higher risk (p<0.001).
Could a Nutrient or Sunshine Deficiency be Affecting Your Cardiovascular Health?
Are you getting enough vitamin D, omega-3s and magnesium through your diet, lifestyle habits, and with supplements? Have you measured your levels lately to make sure? Test your levels today, and adjust as needed to ensure you are getting enough to support healthy cardiovascular function.
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which to measure, such as your vitamin D, omega-3s, and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.
Enroll and test your levels today, learn what steps to take to improve your status of vitamin D (see below) and other nutrients and blood markers, and take action! By enrolling in the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to everyone, you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it.
What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?
Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.
STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.
STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).
STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.
STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.
STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.
STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…
Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.
These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.
GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index
- Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!
Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.
Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called
For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!