by Dr. Keith Chambers, NMD, MBA, MA
Dr. Keith Chambers is medical director of Chambers Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine as well as an MBA from Webster University. Dr. Chambers is an accomplished speaker on the subject of natural medicine and is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. He sits on the Advisory Board of World Nutrition, Inc. He is also active with the Board of Integrative Medicine at Banner Health. In addition, Dr. Chambers has been involved in Martial Arts for nearly 35 years and enjoys training and teaching Koei-Kan Karate-Do. He holds a third degree black belt in this system.
How Magnesium Widens Blood Vessels (And Why This Matters)
According to the Linus Pauling Association, the human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, 27% of which is found in muscle.1 And magnesium is vital for muscle relaxation.
To understand why magnesium relaxes muscles, we first need to back up and talk about arteries.
What Are Arteries Made Of?
Arteries and arterioles are comprised of three layers; the Tunica Externa, Tunica Media, and Tunica Interna. The middle layer, or Tunica Media, is made up primarily of smooth muscle that is created during the process of “angiogenesis,” which continually builds, repairs, and replaces blood vessels in the body.
The smooth muscle of the Tunica Media contracts and relaxes like a pump. This causes blood flow throughout the body. (Put your finger on your neck just under your jawbone to feel your pulse. You’re feeling this process in motion.)
What Causes the Arteries to Contract and Relax, or Pulse?
The contraction phase – or “vasoconstriction” – is caused by calcium. It “squeezes” the Tunica Media (that smooth muscle tissue layer). The relaxation phase – or “vasodilation” -- enlarges the diameter of the Tunica Media, allowing the blood to flow.
Calcium and magnesium work together like two children going up and down on a teeter-totter. And this chemical teeter-totter creates what we commonly refer to as blood pressure.
But, if there is an overabundance of calcium and a deficiency of magnesium, the muscle in the blood vessels cannot relax in a healthy way. Over time, this leads to constricted blood flow.
Do I Have Enough Magnesium?
There is no simple, reliable way to measure the amount of amount of magnesium in your blood vessels. However, the presence of magnesium deficiency symptoms is a very simple way to determine if you are getting enough from diet alone.
Even if you were getting enough magnesium from your diet, you must also take into account agents that cause the excretion of magnesium. For instance, diuretics increase excretion of magnesium.2 Ironically, diuretics are often given to combat hypertension (high blood pressure), yet they deplete magnesium.
If diuretics are truly indicated for a patient’s condition, increased magnesium supplementation (up to 1 gram per day) in addition to the diuretic can be necessary in order to keep a healthy level of magnesium.
What Does The Doctor Recommend?
With my own patients, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve switched to using Jigsaw Magnesium with Sustained Release Technology in divided doses to keep magnesium at a healthy level around the clock.
In my experience, using high doses of magnesium in non-sustained release form often causes “the runs.” And that leads to an even greater deficiency of magnesium.
Jigsaw Magnesium w/SRT is an easy and effective way to get the magnesium your body needs.
Article ID: 709