BMJ said: “Magnesium is a n essential mineral found in the body.
“It is naturally present in many foods and is also available as a dietary supplement.
“It serves as a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, such as those responsible for regulating blood pressure, glycaemic control and lipid peroxidation.
“It is therefore also critical to the cardiovascular system.”
What studies say
In a study with the National Library of Medicine, the effect of increased magnesium intake on plasma cholesterol, triglyceride and oxidative stress in alloxan-diabetic rats was analysed.
The study noted: “In the present study, we investigated whether increased magnesium intake could improve hyperglycaemia, dyslipidemia, and reduce oxidative stress in rats.
“Plasma concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were used as markers of oxidative stress and plasma levels of ascorbic acid, magnesium and calcium were also determined.”
The study concluded that the results suggest that a diet rich in magnesium or taking supplements could exert cardioprotective effect through reduced plasma total cholesterol, triglyceride, oxidative stress and cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio as well as increased plasma ascorbic acid.
What the experts say
Magnesium acts like a natural statin drug and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) reducing triglycerides and increasing good cholesterol.
Dr William Davis, heart health expert and cardiologist said: “In order for the body to make cholesterol, it requires a specific enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.
“Magnesium regulates this enzyme so as to maintain only a proper amount of cholesterol in the body.
“When the body is magnesium deficient, cholesterol continues to be produced in excess, which can cause a cholesterol build up and may lead to coronary heart disease.
“The HMG-CoA reductase enzyme is the exact same enzyme that is targeted and inhibited by statin drugs.
“This inhibiting process is similar to magnesium’s function, except that magnesium is the natural way that the body has evolved to use control and limit cholesterol when it reaches a certain level; statin drugs are used to destroy the entire mechanism.
“Magnesium can also help the body digest, absorb, and utilise proteins, fats and carbohydrates which help prevent the obesity genes from expressing themselves.”