Dr. Carolyn Dean, an expert on magnesium benefits, reports that "magnesium deficiency contributes to abnormal heart rhythms because magnesium is responsible for maintaining normal concentrations of electrolytes inside heart muscle cells. A balance of potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium allows for normal heart muscle contraction and maintains normal heartbeat. A central pacemaker within the heart muscle creates a normal pumping action that travels across the heart. Cardiac arrhythmia occurs when other, less suitable areas of the heart are forced to assume the role of the central pacemaker when it becomes damaged or irritated by lack of oxygen due to blocked blood vessels, drugs (including caffeine), hormonal imbalance, or deficiency of magnesium."
She adds that "Magnesium is also an accepted treatment for ventricular arrhythmias, congestive heart failure (where the heart is weak and unable to empty after each heartbeat), and before and after surgery, including coronary bypass grafting." AFib has become an epidemic in the last decade. Investigators have documented how intravenous magnesium is an effective and safe strategy for the acute management of rapid AFib. In addition, it has no side effects compared to drug therapy. And administration of magnesium can actually cure the AFib where the condition is due to magnesium deficiency.
In 2013, researchers with the Framingham Heart study found that those with the lowest levels of serum magnesium were approximately 50 percent more likely to develop AFib. Between 2000 and 2010, AFib hospitalizations increased 23 percent. The number of people with AFib is about 5.2 million.
One type of heart valve abnormality, mitral valve prolapse, is also associated with magnesium deficiency. Without magnesium, the valve, which consists of two flaps coming together, becomes rigid and can't close properly. This permits blood to leak back through the partially open valve. If you have enough magnesium, the flaps of the valve are relaxed and close completely. Body parts do not calcify unless there is too little magnesium. For more information on the truth about magnesium, calcium, and cholesterol, see my book.