Magnesium is a mineral essential for energy metabolism. Muscle contractions, nerve impulses, and even the most basic processes of cellular energy storage require magnesium. A ten-year study on four hundred individuals at high risk of coronary disease found that those who ate a magnesium-rich diet had fewer than half as many complications from cardiovascular-related problems as those who ate only about one third of the recommended amount of magnesium. Overall mortality rates for people who ate a magnesium-rich diet were lower as well. Although this ten-year investigation is the first in-depth study on magnesium, the results have been buttressed by several smaller studies. That means that eating a magnesium-rich diet makes your RealAge (physiologic age) as much 0.9 years younger.
It has been known for some time that heart attacks are less common in areas where the water supplies are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is also known to lower blood pressure, dilate the arteries, and, when given after a heart attack, restore normal heart rhythms. Magnesium is especially important in the regulation of calcium. Because we do know that taking calcium helps reduce RealAge (physiologic age), it is also vital to get enough magnesium to allow for the proper absorption of calcium.
More Answers from Michael Roizen, MD