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Study shows magnesium may help control blood pressure

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Magnesium is vital for the action of over 300 enzymes in the body. Deficiency of this mineral is linked with a range of health problems. These include tiredness and fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, and raised blood pressure. Magnesium relaxes muscle fibres in blood vessel linings. This helps to lower blood pressure and provides some protection against other heart problems.

The study

An exciting new analysis of data from 34 trials has been released. Involving over 2,000 people, it has confirmed that magnesium supplements help to reduce blood pressure further in people who are taking medication to treat hypertension or diabetes.

This new research builds on other positive magnesium news. Previous studies show that people with good magnesium intakes appear to live longer than those with low intakes. 

One study involved 7,200 adults aged over 55. It showed that those who obtained the most dietary magnesium were 34 per cent less likely to die, over the following 5 years than those with the lowest intakes. This was from any medical cause but especially from heart and circulatory problems.  

Increasing intake

Magnesium intakes are often low, with average intakes for men and women not meeting the recommended targets in the UK. 

Food sources include nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, fish, wholegrains and (good news) dark chocolate. Tap water in hard-water areas is also an important source for some people.

Magnesium supplements at doses of up to 400mg per day are safe for long-term use. In fact, they are often recommended for energy metabolism, muscle health (including the heart) and to reduce tiredness and fatigue.  Healthspan Magnesium one-a-day tablets contains 375mg Magnesium plus the full range of B Complex vitamins to support the role of magnesium in the production of energy and in the maintenance of normal psychological functions. Each tablet also contains 50% NRV of vitamin C which completes this unique formulation.

Sarah Brewer graduated as a doctor from Cambridge University. Having worked in hospitals and general practice, she gained a Master's degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of Surrey. She is the author of over 60 popular health books and writes widely on all aspects of health including complementary medicine. More from this expert.

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No statement or article should be understood as providing treatment advice. If you have a health problem consult your GP and check compatibility of new supplements with your GP or Pharmacist if you are taking any prescription medication.

Nutrition Expert sources the latest information and advice from a range of qualified doctors, nutritionists and coaches. We always endeavour to have the most up to date information possible and publish new content weekly. However with the constant research in this field sometimes some of our older articles can become out of date. If you see anything that you believe needs to be updated please let us know via our Contact Us page