WASHINGTON – Between 1917 and 2017, there were an estimated 200 million deaths from war.
Yet, according to scientists, a simple, inexpensive mineral supplement added with water to the diet of the world’s population could save the lives of 450 million people from heart attacks and strokes.
It’s not a new discovery.
In fact, as early as 1977 – 40 years ago – the National Academy of Science reported that the combination of magnesium and water would prevent 150,000 U.S. deaths from strokes and heart attacks per year. In 2013, another researcher found the simple formula would prevent 4.5 million deaths worldwide.
Do the math – 150,000 times 100 equals 15 million; 4.5 million times 100 years equals 450 million.
In 2009, the World Health Organization collected and compiled research studies on the effects of calcium and magnesium in the diet, with consideration of adding the mineral supplements to drinking water supplies.
Professors Bella T. Altura and Burton M. Altura of the the State University of New York
Downstate Medical Center concluded in their contribution to the report that critical minerals, including magnesium, are deficient in water supplies and available foods in many parts of the world.
“One important issue that deserves attention is the low mineral intake from foods and water that are common in many parts of the world,” they wrote. “Today, subclinical deficiencies of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium prevail in both the developed and developing worlds.”
They recommended that all drinking water in the world should contain at least 25-50 milligrams of magnesium per liter to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Adding minerals to water supplies can be a controversial matter, but the research shows the connection between magnesium and the incidence of heart problems.
In fact, there is broad consensus that a deficit of magnesium increases cardiovascular risk because it is linked to healthy control of blood vessel function, blood pressure regulation and normal heart contractions. It has been found that magnesium deficit increases risk of conditions such as endothelial dysfunction, hypertension and cardiacarrythmias as well as heart attacks and strokes.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, 50 to 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, and the health consequences are significant.
He lists the following the following critical functions:
- Creation of adenosine triphosphate, the energy currency of the body;
- Relaxation of blood vessels;
- Muscle and nerve function, including the action of heart muscles;
- Proper formation of bones and teeth;
- Regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which is important for the prevention of type 2 diabetes;
“Insufficient magnesium tends to trigger muscle spasms, and this has consequences for your heart in particular,” he says. “This is especially true if you also have excessive calcium, as calcium causes muscle contractions. Magnesium also functions as an electrolyte, which is crucial for all electrical activity in your body. Without electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium and sodium, electrical signals cannot be sent or received, and without these signals, your heart cannot pump blood and your brain cannot function properly.”
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the seminal paper “Death by Medicine” in 2003 and the book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” your heart has the highest magnesium requirement of any organ, specifically your left ventricle.
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2013 found “circulating and dietary magnesium are inversely associated with cardio-vascular disease.” This means the lower your magnesium intake (and the lower the circulating magnesium in your body), the higher your risk.
The study, which combined information from more than 313,000 people, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Other recent research also suggests magnesium may be a key component of blood pressure management.
Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, swiss chard. turnip greens, beet greens, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and romaine lettuce. Doctors recommend magnesium supplements, always taken with water, at levels of 420-900 milligrams. Though higher intake of magnesium is not considered dangerous, a proper balance with other minerals and vitamins is necessary.
For example, it’s important to maintain the proper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D. Unfortunately, the science is uncertain about ideal ratios between all of these nutrients.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a popular cardiologist, also recommends magnesium supplements for his patients.
“People always ask me about my personal supplementation habits,” he has written. “And I always tell them that one supplement I take nightly – as regularly as brushing my teeth – is magnesium. Why? Among the top nutrients for heart health, the benefits of magnesium supplements really stand out. Magnesium is used in scores of enzymatic reactions, and it’s absolutely necessary for normal muscle function. Unfortunately for many people, they’re seriously low on this mineral.”
A shortage, he says, can cause or worsen congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, chest pain, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, heart muscle disease, heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
Paul Mason, the librarian for the Magnesium Online Library, maintains links to more than 300 articles on magnesium and magnesium deficiency.
His story is an interesting one.
He bought what he calls the most run-down Victorian property out in the middle of nowhere. He began restoring it and later found a spring on the property producing 117 million gallons of water a year. But the previous owner had dumped 6,000 tires at the top of the spring that needed to be cleaned out. It took him several years.
“In 1991, I took a water sample to a lab, to see if the tasty water was healthy, and the lab results showed 110 mg of magnesium per liter,” he told WND. “I asked the chemist, ‘Is that good or bad?’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s good, but very unusual.'”
He put the report out on the Internet and hydrologists and magnesium researchers began showing up explaining the benefits of magnesium.
“So, I started reading up on it, and started the Magnesium Online Library of medical journal articles,” he said. “Then magnesium researchers started sending me their articles to add to the library.”
But that was hardly the end of the story.
“I took a sample to Tony Varni, then president of Modesto 7-Up bottling company, and he immediately chose to start bottling it as Noah’s Spring Water,” Mason recalls. “A few years later, a very large bottled water company in the U.S., chose to use my water for their ‘mineral water,’ and bought 12 million gallons in 2016, which according to the researchers, saved about 100 lives per year. As money started flowing in, I started financing magnesium researchers, beginning about 2000, and I hosted a worldwide magnesium conference in San Francisco, paying every researcher’s air fare from all over the world.”
And, at 72, that remains his mission – saving lives.