Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 29, 2006


I find it mildly amusing that a Magnesium deficiency is linked to Mitral Valve Prolapse.  Two years ago I had a sharp pain in my chest and was diagnosed with a Right Branch Bundle Block or Mitral Valve Prolapse. At the time, they told me it was a normal variant and it was nothing to worry about. Was this an early sign of a Magnesium deficiency? If 80 percent of Americans have a Magnesium deficiency, wouldn’t that make Mitral Valve Prolapse a normal variant?

Mitral Valve Prolapse: The Links to Magnesium Deficiency

Though they do not appear to be widely known, there are a wide variety of medical research studies from various parts of the world that link MVP to magnesium deficiencies, and/or that show improvement of MVP symptoms from magnesium treatment. These studies include:

A study in Denmark showed that Cavalier King Charles spaniels frequently have both MVP and low magnesium levels.

A study in Paris found a link between magnesium deficiency, latent tetany, hyperventilation syndrome, spasmophilia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurocirculatory asthenia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.

Russian researchers found that patients with mitral valve prolapse appeared to suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium therapy completely or partially reduced the symptoms in more than half the patients.

In a paper from in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers from Poland concluded that that many patients with heavily symptomatic MVP have low serum magnesium. They also concluded that supplementation ofmagnesium leads to improvement in most symptoms along with a decrease in catecholamine excretion.

Researchers in Romania found that magnesium therapy should be applied consistently and for long periods of time to control latent tetany (severe muscle cramps) and to prevent MVP.

A paper in the journal, Magnesium, noted that magnesium deficiency hinders the mechanism by which fibroblasts degrade defective collagen, increases circulating catecholamines, predisposes to cardiac arrhythmias, thromboembolic phenomena and dysregulation of the immune and autonomic nervous systems. The paper authors noted that magnesium therapy provides relief of MVP symptoms.

Another paper from the journal, Magnesium, found that out of the 24 patients with MVP who underwent 16 weeks of treatment with magnesium 29.2% became asymptomatic between the 4th and 12th weeks, in 45.8% one or two symptoms of a psychic nature persisted (e.g. anxiety, depressive tendency), and the remaining 25% showed an improvement, albeit, a less marked one.

A 1985 study found that in a group of patients with MVP, low magnesium levels were found to be statistically significant. The researchers assumed magnesium to have an important role particularly in causing the rhythm and neuropsychic disturbances in pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse.

In a 1975 study in France, researchers reviewed the role of the low erythrocyte (cellular) magnesium in MVP.

Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Mitral Valve Prolapse – “Most features of the MVP syndrome can be attributed to direct physiological effects of magnesium deficiency or to secondary effects produced by blockade of EFA desaturation. These include valvular collagen dissolution, ventricular hyperkinesis, cardiac arrhythmias, occasional thromboembolic phenomena. autonomic dysregulation and association with LT, pelvic fibrosis, autoimmune disease, anxiety disorders, allergy and chronic candidiasis.”

Many medical web sites state that MVP is a normal variation in the population because it is so common. I’m not so sure this is a valid conclusion. Being common does not mean the same thing as being normal, or even desirable. Thirty percent of the adult U.S. population is obese, however no one is saying that obesity is “normal”. There are many conditions such as breast cancer, heart attacks and osteoporosis that are even more common than mitral valve prolapse, but that doesn’t mean that any of these conditions are normal, let alone desirable.

Many people in the U.S. and other Western countries do not get the RDA of magnesium, so it actually would be expected then that many people would have signs of magnesium deficiencies.

A research paper from France notes that a marginal primary magnesium deficit affects a large proportion of the population (15 to 20%). The study noted that while 6 mg was the RDA for magnesium, most people only took in slightly over 4 mg. In another study from France, 77 per cent of women and 72 per cent of men had dietary magnesium intakes lower than recommended dietary allowances;23 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men consumed less than 2/3 of the magnesium RDA.

Things aren’t much better in the U.S. According to a paper from State University of New York, since the turn of this century, there has been a steady and progressive decline of dietary magnesium intake to where much of the Western World population is ingesting less than an optimum RDA.

As such, perhaps the high levels of mitral valve prolapse seen these days in the developed, Western countries are indeed common, but not “normal” at all. Perhaps they merely reflect signs of a growing magnesium deficiency among people in developed countries who tend to consume diets high in calcium (which can cause a magnesium imbalance) , high in processed foods and low in magnesium rich foods, such as nuts and vegetables.

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June 29, 2006 - Posted by | Health | ,

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