Calcium and magnesium are two essential minerals that do much more than build healthy bones. Used in the right doses, magnesium has the potential to improve blood pressure; some data also suggests that calcium might play a role in blood pressure management. High blood pressure (hypertension) is related to a wide range of serious health concerns, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Managing blood pressure is an important part of caring for these and other health problems. Today, many people are discovering the benefits of calcium and magnesium for blood pressure. Thanks to an increasing availability of these minerals in an optimal combination, you can experience these benefits for yourself. Here are six things you should know about calcium, magnesium, and their connection to blood pressure.
1. A double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial helped demonstrate that magnesium has a positive effect blood pressure. The most rigorous research study currently utilized has several characteristics, including:
Placebo-controlled: An inert substitution for the drug being tested made to precisely resemble the actual drug.
Double-blind: Neither the people administering a drug nor the people preparing the doses know which trial members are getting the placebo and which are getting the actual drug.
Randomized trial: When members of a trial population are randomly assigned to the test group or the control group; the test administrators do not know which group is which.
These tests aim to demonstrate the efficacy of drugs in a manner that reduces the chance of outside interference to a statistically insignificant amount; this way it can be concluded that the drug being tested, and not some other influence, was having the observed effect. All scientific rigor was applied to the development of the test which revealed that hypertensives (people with high blood pressure) improved after taking magnesium.
2. Magnesium can improve both systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. A blood pressure reading consists of two different numbers arranged one on top of the other, like a fraction. The top number, referring to the systolic reading, is higher than the bottom number, which refers to the diastolic reading.
Ideally, the systolic reading should be 120 or lower and the diastolic reading should be 80 or lower. You might see 120/80 referred to as the ideal blood pressure. A blood pressure in the range of 120/80 to 140/80 is regarded as pre-hypertensive, which is regarded as a warning sign that high blood pressure is developing. A reading above 140/80 is hypertensive. Clinical trials have shown that magnesium can help improve both scores, thereby helping people achieve a healthy blood pressure.
3. Blood pressure is often easily managed through diet and lifestyle changes. Taking magnesium and calcium supplements might be just one of the positive lifestyle changes made to improve blood pressure. In fact, there are many simple strategies that can be implemented in order to bring your blood pressure to a healthy level. Simply cutting back on daily sodium intake is another good way. Speaking with a nutritionist or a doctor can help you identify other simple and effective ways of managing high or rising blood pressure.
4. Health studies across large population groups suggest a link between low calcium intake and high blood pressure. While it has not been conclusively proven that taking a calcium supplement on its own will help bring down your blood pressure, getting the right amount of this vital mineral is an important part of overall health. Nutritionists recommend that adults between 19 and 50 get 1,000 mg of calcium each day. However, there are some conditions, such as pregnancy, which require a greater amount of daily calcium. If you are concerned about the high levels of fat associated with many dependable sources of calcium, such as cheese, a calcium supplement can easily help keep your intake at a healthy level without requiring you to eat a lot of unnecessary fat or sodium.
5. Calcium and magnesium are conveniently available in the same capsule. Did you know that magnesium plays a role in your body’s use of available calcium? This is why most calcium supplements also contain an optimal dose of magnesium. This additional mineral helps your body fully utilize the supplement, so you are getting the maximum benefit from every dose. Calcium and magnesium tablets (sometimes simply called cal-mag tablets) are competitively priced and can be purchased from any health food store, nutrition outlet, or vitamin section at the grocery store.
6. Many great foods are high in both magnesium and calcium. Since dietary changes frequently play a major role in the management of hypertension, it is a good idea to identify a few key foods that will give you a nutritional boost while also helping you improve your health. This is especially important if you do not want to take a lot of pills every day. Dark, leafy greens are packed with magnesium, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains, beans, seeds, dry peas, and nuts are also great sources of these heart-healthy minerals.