Studies Show Magnesium Reduces Chronic Inflammation

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Chronic inflammation—not cholesterol—is the cause of heart disease. Many doctors and research scientists now believe that most chronic diseases may have the same root cause: inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and even cancer.

In a recent study published in the Lancet, the world's leading general medical journal, researchers concluded that inflammation inside arterial walls could explain why many people with normal or even ideal cholesterol levels suffer heart attacks or strokes, while others with very high cholesterol never develop heart disease.

"Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease," says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, magnesium expert and Medical Advisory Board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association (nutritionalmagnesium.org), "and the decades-long attempt to treat this condition with statin drugs has failed, because the true cause is inflammation."

"There are clear indications that inflammation explains why plaque builds up in the arteries in patients with atherosclerosis," says Philip Schauer, MD, director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. "Chronic inflammation also plays a direct role in diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma and other conditions."

These conclusions support the findings of an earlier breakthrough study entitled "Magnesium and the Inflammatory Response…" According to Dr. Dean, "This study shows that at the cellular level, magnesium reduces inflammation. In the animal model used, magnesium deficiency is created when an inflammatory condition is produced. Increasing magnesium intake decreases the inflammation."

Dr. Dean adds, "With magnesium being actively required by 600–700 enzyme systems in the human body, internal functions that reduce inflammation with the help of magnesium are being newly discovered every year. For example, magnesium has been found to be a natural calcium channel blocker, which is crucial because calcium in excess is one of the most pro-inflammatory substances in the body. This is why I recommend a 1:1 balance of calcium with magnesium, while also taking into account the amount of calcium people get in their daily diets."

New York Times best-selling author and doctor Joseph Mercola, DO, says, "We are all going to die at some point, but if you're deficient in magnesium you may wind up dying sooner rather than later. As new research in atherosclerosis found, low serum magnesium levels are associated with higher all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality, adding to growing research supporting the importance of adequate magnesium."

Dr. Dean concludes, "Chronic, low-grade inflammation—sustained by excessive belly fat, a poor diet including processed foods and sugars, a magnesium deficiency (over 75 percent of Americans fail to meet their minimum daily requirement of magnesium), lack of exercise, smoking, and gum disease—may explain why lifestyle-related diseases have reached epidemic proportions in Western countries, while remaining relatively scarce in the developing world. The many studies acknowledging the value of magnesium in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome make knowing about this mineral vitally important."

A 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium, along with magnesium deficiency symptoms, is available for free at nutritionalmagnesium.org.