Ring the Bell for Magnesium Aspartate

pidemiological studies conducted in countries such as Germany, Sweden, South Africa, and Italy strongly suggest that low levels of magnesium in the water supply are associated with coronary heart disease.1-4 Indeed, it is now becoming clear that inadequate levels of magnesium is a problem throughout the Western World, and that a lower than normal dietary intake increases the risk of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease, atherogenesis and sudden cardiac death.5 Moreover, shortages of serum magnesium often appear to be associated with other cardiovascular problems including coronary vasospasm. The above data has been evident for quite some time.

However, as Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw point out, there are other reasons for increasing dietary supplemental intake of magnesium beyond the RDA. If you miss the ringing of the magnesium bell and what they have to say in the following exchange, you miss it at your own risk.


DURK: For many years it's been realized that magnesium is important to cardiovascular health and inadequate quantities of magnesium lead to an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, many of the most common sources of magnesium, such as milk of magnesia have a low bioavailability (not being fully absorbed in the body). A few years ago the FDA proposed reducing the magnesium RDA from 400 to 200 mg. There was such an outcry about it that they backed off. Four hundred (400) milligrams is about the lowest amount an adult ought to consider taking, and most people aren't getting even half of that in their diet. Most forms of magnesium are not well absorbed. To the best of my knowledge magnesium aspartate is the best.

WILL: How much magnesium are you and Sandy taking a day?

DURK: I was taking 4 capsules per day of our magnesium supplement for a total of 400 mg per day. However, I've recently doubled that to 800 mg (8 capsules) and so has Sandy because of an interesting paper we read about loud noises (from shooting firearms) causing damage to the cochlea hair cells in the ear and even to the auditory nerve. The scientists found that this excitotoxic damage can be partially prevented and recovery from temporary hearing loss (due to the loud noise) hastened with 700 mg a day of magnesium in the form of magnesium aspartate.

SANDY: This is not an adequate substitute for ear protectors when one is shooting a gun or operating noisy machinery, however.


For many years it's been realized that
magnesium is important to cardiovascular
health and that inadequate quantities
of magnesium lead to an increased
incidence of cardiovascular disease.

WILL: Or while subjecting oneself to loud music or attending concerts, I'll bet.

DURK: Perhaps. But the study shows that at least some excitotoxic damage can be prevented.

WILL: Is this the way that taurine operates?

DURK: Both taurine and magnesium help prevent excitotoxic damage, among other things. And the taurine is certainly concentrated in the nervous system. However, magnesium and taurine don't necessarily work in exactly the same place in the excitotoxin cascade.

WILL: Can the benefit of one add to the benefit of the other?

DURK: Possibly . . . plausibly.


The scientists found that this excitotoxic
damage can be partially prevented and
recovery from temporary hearing loss
(due to the loud noise) hastened with
700 mg a day of magnesium in the
form of magnesium aspartate.

WILL: Can they at least be supplementary?

DURK: They might be, but we don't know of any data from taurine plus magnesium. In any case, we've increased our magnesium dose. In addition, this probably gives us more cardiovascular protection. There have been a lot of suggestions that 800 mg of magnesium is a good idea for cardiovascular protection; but the way we figure it, some excitotoxin damage is going on all the time. Taking magnesium "sounds" like a good way of reducing possible damage due to inadvertent exposure. Even though we're not exposed to loud noise without ear protection, there's going to be natural excitotoxin damage occurring as part of the wear and tear of everyday life and aging.

Many common sources of magnesium such as dolomite - which contains a mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonate - and milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide), as we've said, have relatively low bioavailability.

WILL: Your formula contains 400 mg of magnesium aspartate, as well as 80 mg of ascorbyl palmitate in 4 capsules. If a person chooses to take 800 mg, how fast should one increase from 4 to 8 capsules per day?

DURK: Start out the first few days with just 1 capsule and then 2 and 3 and then 4; slowly build it up to 8. If you start out right away taking 8 caps per day, you're pretty sure to get diarrhea.

WILL: I hear you and, therefore, I intend to make it a daily part of my dietary supplement regimen.

References

  1. Teitge JE. Incidence in myocardial infarct and mineral content of the drinking water. Z Gesamte Inn Med. 1990;45:478-485.
  2. Marier JR, Neri LC. Quantifying the role of magnesium in the interrelationship between human mortality/morbidity and water hardness. Magnesium 1985;4:53-59.
  3. Rubenowitz E, Axelsson G, Rylander R. Magnesium in drinking water and death from acute myocardial infarction. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:456-462.
  4. Bernardi D, Dini FL, Azzarelli A, Giaconi A, Volterrani C, Lunardi M. Sudden cardiac death rate in an area characterized by high incidence of coronary artery disease and low hardness of drinking water. Angiology 1995;46:145-149.
  5. Altura BM, Altura BT. Cardiovascular risk factors and magnesium: relationships to atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease and hypertension. Magnes Trace Elem 1991;10:182-192.

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