Magnesium and Sudden Death

I saw the post below from Gifford-Jones, a former Canadian cardiologist who writes about health issues. He is now 94 I think and survived on heart attack about 15 or 20 years ago. I attended one of his many Canada wide presentations so I know he is real even though he uses a pseudonym.

Magnesium and Sudden Death

"Every year about 600,000 North Americans die from a sudden cardiac event. Half of these people have never been diagnosed with heart disease. So U.S. researchers tracked 88,000 women for 26 years to see if their magnesium intake was linked to their death.

Researchers discovered that those consuming the most magnesium (more than 345 milligrams a day had a 34 percent decreased risk of sudden cardiac arrest than those who consumed the least, 260 milligrams or less). And those who reported the highest amount of magnesium had a 77 percent lower risk of having a sudden cardiac arrest.

The moral? It doesn’t hurt to eat more leafy greens, whole gains, nuts and other magnesium rich foods. Since studies show that most people have decreased blood magnesium ask your health food store about magnesium tablets or consider the powder MagSense.


The two paragraphs below are part of his post:

I’m currently trying to change foolish government regulations related to natural remedies that affect all of us. The greater the number of people who sign up for medical tips helps in my negotiation. Please mention my web site and medical tips to friends

Want to learn more? Visit the W.Gifford-Jones website for other tips and a weekly article on various health issues.

This e-mail message does not constitute medical advice and is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure disease. Please contact your doctor. The information provided in this message is for informational purposes only. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking or changing any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem."

18 Replies

  • Thank you so much for this information! As an AF sufferer, now pacemaker dependent, I have already increased my magnesium intake, as a supplement, to about

    900 mgs per day. I have read so much about its alleged beneficial effect on AF and, now, having read your post, my husband, who has two working arteries stented (the third is completely blocked) is going to immediately start the magnesium supplement as well. I guess the measure of our success wil be when we both celebrate our centenary!


  • A small 200g bar of dark chocolate will give you 300mg of magnesium. Who needs supplements?

  • Really? Now that's where a lot of people get their magnesium from!

  • 200g of chocolate is not small ! It would give you about 300% of daily sugar intake to start with, and a lot of cholesterol

  • Possibly, but you'd go with a smile on your face rather than a knot in your handkerchief.

  • Hmmm! Just think how many mgs of magnesium you would obtain from scoffing a large 200g bar of dark chocolate!! :-)

  • 200 g is hardly small. I buy 100 g bar of 80% and that is eight squares. A bar is equal to 24.7 g of sugar so I only eat two squares a day

  • I do love your self-control! A bar of chocolate that lasts 4 days.......? Wow!

  • I also limit my self to one (large) glass of red wine:-)

    Lidl do a very good dark chocolate. That and their ice cream are all we buy from them.

  • That's the beauty of dark chocolate - it's the cocoa I crave and enjoy so why dilute all that with sugar and milk. When I visit the UK I always visit Hotel Chocolat for the 100%. Like you seasider, 2 squares a night but with a good concentration it's enough :-)

  • There is a 'Spanish' Drinking Chocolate on sale here that is very nice. For chocoholics they say four teaspoons a cup. We find that two is more than enough.

  • Thanks for this. He also has an interesting article entitled Magnesium, protection from Undertakers. It details some of the many functions of the body that need adequate magnesium. Not just cardiac.

    Makes me wonder how we've all survived so long without knowing about Mg!! Is it as simple as the way diet has changed over the years? Or soil that has become impoverished? Or stressful life styles lead to a deficiency? Could go on ad infinitum!

    Good health to those trying magnesium anyway!

  • Lack of magnesium is THE nutritional/mineral problem in cattle and sheep. If they're deficient, they die, and quickly (within hours).

    RobertELee - A small 200g bar of dark chocolate will give you 300mg of magnesium. Who needs supplements?

    As a chocoholic, that's the best news I've ever heard on this forum :-D


  • Yes, I'm so happy it's untrue :D

    (chocoholic two!)

  • interesting post- be aware you may need the loo at lot of you have too much Magnesium. I find 125mg twice a day plus good diet seems OK (personal view only!!)

  • I am drinking lots of coconut water, lots of goodies in it, as well as added Magnesium,being in MalYsia for a holiday, lots of coconuts falling off the trees , it is a diuretic as well, so got to be good!!

  • This is one of the supplements my EP and cardiologist strongly recommended after my recent resurgence of AFIB! (The full resurgence was actually brought on by a migraine medication, but I was feeling off before the med too.) After changing meds and adding magnesium, AFIB is not longer occuring, and I have noticed a HUGE change in my readings according to Alivecor since I started taking more mg twice a day. Glad to see others agree!

  • June 24, 2002, Vol 162, No. 12 >

    Original Investigation | June 24, 2002

    Nut Consumption and Decreased Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Physicians' Health Study

    Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH; J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH; Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH; JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH

    Background Dietary nut intake has been associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease mortality; however, the mechanism is unclear. Since components of nuts may have antiarrhythmic properties, part of the benefit may be due to a reduction in sudden cardiac death.

    Methods We prospectively assessed whether increasing frequency of nut consumption, as ascertained by an abbreviated food frequency questionnaire at 12 months of follow-up, was associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death and other coronary heart disease end points among 21 454 male participants enrolled in the US Physicians' Health Study. Participants were followed up for an average of 17 years.

    Results Dietary nut intake was associated with a significantly reduced risk of sudden cardiac death after controlling for known cardiac risk factors and other dietary habits (P for trend, .01). Compared with men who rarely or never consumed nuts, those who consumed nuts 2 or more times per week had reduced risks of sudden cardiac death (relative risk, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.92) and total coronary heart disease death (relative risk, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-0.98). In contrast, nut intake was not associated with significantly reduced risks of nonsudden coronary heart disease death or nonfatal myocardial infarction.

    Conclusion These prospective data in US male physicians suggest that the inverse association between nut consumption and total coronary heart disease death is primarily due to a reduction in the risk of sudden cardiac death.

    RECENT RANDOMIZED dietary trials have reported markedly reduced risks of recurrent events and cardiac death in patients assigned to the Mediterranean diet after a myocardial infarction.1,2 In one trial, this benefit appeared to be at least partly due to an increase in the plasma level of α-linolenic acid (an n-3 fatty acid) in the Mediterranean diet arm.3 Small to moderate amounts of n-3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to have antiarrhythmic effects4 and to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients who have had a myocardial infarction.5 Therefore, the protective effects on cardiac mortality of the Mediterranean diet may be partly related to antiarrhythmic effects of n-3 fatty acids and resultant reduction in sudden cardiac death.

    Nuts are both an important component of the Mediterranean diet and a source of small to moderate amounts of α-linolenic acid.6- 8 In addition, nuts are a source of other unsaturated fats, magnesium, and vitamin E, and result in an improved lipoprotein profile when added to the diet6- 9 if caloric intake remains constant. On the basis of experimental and observational data, all of these potential effects would be expected to reduce sudden cardiac death.10- 12 In 3 large prospective observational studies,13- 15 reductions in coronary heart disease mortality were observed among those who consumed nuts more frequently, but none of these studies have specifically examined the end point of sudden cardiac death. To further understand the mechanism underlying the apparent protective effect of nut consumption, we examined the associations between nut consumption and risk of sudden cardiac death and other coronary heart disease end points in a cohort of 21 454 US male physicians followed up for an average of 17 years.

You may also like...