Magnesium, Calcium, and Heart Disease
Most of us are deficient in magnesium, which is unfortunate because it is so critical for helping to maintain healthy blood pressure and to avoid a myriad of cardiovascular problems.
Adhering to good cardiovascular nutrition can help, but even if you do eat whole-food sources of magnesium (tofu, navy beans, lima beans, and figs are the richest) you may not get enough of this nutrient through diet alone. That’s why I recommend 400 mg of magnesium for healthy folks and up to 800 mg daily if you’re interesting in a great way for lowering blood pressure naturally.
Magnesium works synergistically with calcium, but you must be careful about the amount of calcium you take. More than 2,000 mg per day can cause your kidneys to excrete magnesium.
Although my cardiovascular nutrition plan includes many calcium-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables, tofu, low-fat cheeses, and skim or 1% milk, you should still take a calcium supplement to be sure you get the right ratio and balance of each mineral.
I like calcium in softgel form because of its rapid disintegration time (six minutes or less) and better bioavailability. In people with poor digestion, solid calcium tablets may pass intact through the digestive tract and out of the body.
I urge my patients to choose a calcium formula that contains mixed compounds such as citrate, carbonate, aspartate, and gluconate, in combination with a similar magnesium complex. I recommend taking up to 750 mg daily of calcium in conjunction with the above recommended dose of 400 mg daily of magnesium.
For more information on healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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