Blood Pressure Regulation
Do you have muscle spasms? You could have a magnesium deficiency if they occur often and you have high blood pressure. Some call them cramps and they usually happen at the most inconvenient times, when you are doing something important. A doctor can refer you for tests or do it himself and send of the sample for results to determine if you are.
It is called an intracellular magnesium screening or ICD test which measures minerals in the cells. The doctor will take a scraping of the mucous membranes on the floor of the mouth if he has the testing kit to do so. (http://www.exatest.com)
You may be wondering why a magnesium deficiency could cause your blood pressure to rise. Well lets think about the muscle cramps again. It is well known that people who suffer from cramps could be helped by taking in more magnesium.
Interestingly, during the 17th century, people would frequent a saline spring for the health benefits of magnesium sulphate deposits in Epsom in Surrey, England. The benefits of drinking from that pool were soon realized and the production of Epsom salts started. Epsom salts consist of magnesium sulphate and is used as a replacement therapy for hypomagnesemia, for muscle relaxation, as a broncho-dilator and other ailments.
How a Magnesium Deficiency Alters Blood Vessels
Understanding how it works as a muscle relaxant will help us see how it works to reduce blood pressure? Calcium causes the muscles to contract, whereas magnesium when it replaces the calcium, causes them to relax. so you need both these minerals working together. Now it doesn`t matter what kind of muscle in the body we are dealing with, they all tense and relax by the actions of these 2 minerals.
Would you be surprised to know that our arteries also have muscles surrounding their walls? They act on the artery wall to make it contract and restrict or relax and dilate and the 2 minerals that are needed are calcium and magnesium. [See reference]
With a magnesium deficiency however, muscles sometimes will not relax and lock into a spasm which is very painful. The condition also affects arterial smooth muscle and the results are constricted arteries, restricted blood flow so higher blood pressure.
People who have been diagnosed with a magnesium deficiency have successfully brought down their blood pressure by simply supplementing their intake.
But a note of caution! Supplementing too much magnesium can cause an imbalance so make sure if you are lacking in it first by seeking a medical diagnosis. Start eating the right foods to get a healthy balance of all the good nutrients that your body needs.
A List of Foods and Herbs Rich in Magnesium
The bold orange entries have the highest magnesium content.
A – alfalfa, almonds, apricots, asparagus
B – banana, barley, basil, beans, beet, beet greens, blackberry, black pepper, Brazil nut, broccoli, brown rice, buckwheat
C – cantaloupe, carrot, cashews, catnip, cauliflower, celery, chicken, chives, collard leaves, coriander, corn, cucumber
D – dairy, dandelion leaves, dates, dulse
E – eggplant, eggs
F – figs, flax seed
G – garlic, grapes, grape juice
H – horsetail
K – kelp
L – legumes, licorice root
M – millet, mung bean sprouts, mushrooms
N – nettle
O – onion
P – parsley, peanuts, peas, pecans, pigweed, pineapple, plums, potato, pumpkin, purslane
R – raisins, red clover, rye
S – sarsaparilla, seafood, snakegourd, soybean, spinach, sunflower seed, sweet potato
T – thyme, tofu, tomato
W – wheat germ, whole grains, wild yam
Y – yarrow, yeast
Ref = Magnesium Relaxes Arterial Smooth Muscle by Decreasing Intracellular Ca2+ Without Changing Intracellular Mg2+.
E K D’Angelo, H A Singer, and C M Rembold
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908.