One of the first supplements atrial fibrillation patients turn to for a potential natural treatment is magnesium – and for good reason. The heart has more magnesium than any other organ in the body. That should tell you something about magnesium’s importance to your overall heart health!
Magnesium is one of the electrolytes that plays a role in the heart’s electrical functioning. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to many cardiovascular conditions. These include afib, heart attacks, and mitral valve prolapses. It also includes stroke, which often manifests as a complication of afib.
If you have afib, there is a very good chance you have a magnesium deficiency. Research seems to support this conclusion, since studies show that magnesium can relieve afib:
Canadian researchers have done a meta-analysis of studies dealing with the benefits of intravenous administration of magnesium in the acute treatment of atrial fibrillation. They found that effective rate control (reduction in heart rate below 100 bpm) and/or conversion to normal sinus rhythm was achieved in 84% of patients given magnesium as compared to 53% given a placebo…The researchers conclude that intravenous magnesium is an effective and safe strategy for the acute treatment of afib.
Magnesium Deficiencies in the US
The Standard American Diet lends itself to creating magnesium deficiencies. Most people eat too little of the foods that provide magnesium and too much of the foods that either inhibit it. In addition, many American consume too much calcium, which can throw off the heart’s balance even more.
Most adults consume around 270 mg of magnesium every day, well below the 320 to 420 mg that most healthy adults need. According to a-fib.com, deficiencies range from 65% to 80% in adults around the world.
Our diet is not the only culprit. Stress depletes the magnesium that we do consume. There is no denying that most Americans live a high-stress lifestyle.
Finally, certain drugs deplete magnesium as well. Ironically, many of the worst culprits are prescribed to treat heart and blood pressure problems!
Are You Magnesium Deficient? Testing for Magnesium Levels
There are three tests that you can get if you suspect that you are dealing with a magnesium deficiency:
- Serum Magnesium
- RBC Magnesium Analysis
1. Serum Magnesium Testing
Serum magnesium tests require a basic blood draw. They’re the most common way to test for deficiencies. If you see your doctor and ask for a magnesium test, this is the test he’ll prescribe. They’re not always accurate, however. In fact, they are rarely ever accurate.
That’s because serum magnesium tests only test the amount of magnesium in your blood. They don’t measure the amount of magnesium that is present and working within your cells, where the bulk of the magnesium is stored in your body.
Despite its flaws, it’s possible to draw some correlations. If your serum blood magnesium levels are low then chances are your actual magnesium levels are low (and probably very low). If your blood magnesium levels are higher than normal then you probably have enough magnesium in your cells.
The problem arises when the test shows your blood magnesium levels to be normal, which is usually what happens. With a normal reading, most doctors will simply say that you have adequate levels of magnesium and move on. The problem is, for most afibbers a normal test result usually means they are actually low in magnesium.
Read this post where I compared my serum magnesium tests to other more advanced testing options (see below).
2. RBC Magnesium Test
An RBC Magnesium test is a more accurate test than serum testing. It also requires a blood draw, but the blood undergoes different tests than it would undergo in a standard serum magnesium test.
You can request a RBC test from your doctor but he’ll likely ignore your request and just prescribe a serum test or tell you that a serum test is “good enough” to determine if you have a magnesium deficiency. Don’t buy it. Demand a RBC test and if they can’t do it, use an independent lab to have one done.
The normal reference range for the RBC magnesium test is 4.2 – 6.8 mg/dL. Dr. Carolyn Dean, the author of the Magnesium Miracle, wrote a blog post about the RBC Magnesium blood test. In it, she wrote you want to be at least 6.0-6.5 mg/dL.
I reached out to her to ask her why she recommended that and she said 80% of the population is deficient in magnesium. As a result, she tells people they want to be above the 80th percentile of their test levels.
In this post I compare my RBC test results with the EXA Test.
3. EXA Test
Finally, there’s the EXA test. This is the current gold standard for testing for magnesium levels. For this test, the inside of your cheeks are scraped with a piece of plastic and then wiped on a test strip and sent in for analysis. Those cheek cells are then scanned by an electron microscope and bombarded with X-rays.
As EXAtest.com explains, this bombardment causes different minerals in your cells to release energy. “From this process, the computer calculates a spectral fingerprint for each patient that identifies the mineral electrolyte levels and ratios within the cell.” EXA tests are the most accurate magnesium tests available today.
Unfortunately, they are not common and are expensive ($295). If you ask your doctor for an EXA test he will very likely give you a blank stare. Most doctors haven’t even heard of this test. I had to contact several naturopathic doctors in my city to find one that administered it. Of course he had an additional charge to administer the test so the total costs for an EXA test can easily exceed $400, which is usually not covered by insurance.
Read about my EXA test results in 2015 and 2016. I had the EXA test done in 2015 and 2016.
So which test should you have done?
Understand that doctors are typically only going to give the basic blood serum test. They typically won’t offer the other two tests because they usually aren’t readily available and are expensive – and in the case of the EXA test probably haven’t even heard of it!
Skip the blood serum test. It’s meaningless to afibbers. Most people, however, should have easy access to a RBC magnesium test. I would start there. It’s not the most accurate test but it will give you a decent indication if your magnesium levels are too low.
If you have the money and can find someone to administer the EXA test in your area, then it’s a no-brainer. You go with the EXA test as it will give you the most accurate indication of your magnesium levels.
How To Get More Magnesium In Your Diet
Before turning to supplements you might want to try increasing your intake by including more magnesium-rich foods in your diet. Adjusting your diet can be one of the safest and most effective ways to manage atrial fibrillation.
The top ten magnesium-rich foods are:
- Spinach – 157mg (1 cup)
- Chard – 154mg (1 cup)
- Dark Chocolate – 95mg (1 square) – afibbers should consume with caution
- Pumpkin Seeds – 92mg (1/8 cup)
- Almonds – 80mg (1 ounce)
- Black Beans – 60mg (1/2 cup)
- Avocado – 58mg (1 medium)
- Kefir or Yogurt – 50mg (1 cup)
- Figs – 50mg (1/2 cup)
- Banana – 32mg (1 medium)
Magnesium Supplements for Atrial Fibrillation
If you can’t get enough magnesium-rich foods in your diet, then you may need to turn to supplements. And to be honest, to get the amount of magnesium necessary to have a positive affect on your afib, you probably won’t be able to get it through foods alone.
There are several types of magnesium supplements to choose from. The differences are primarily in the amount of elemental magnesium in these supplements and the rate they are absorbed.
Here are common types of magnesium supplements with the amount of elemental magnesium per 500mg.
- Magnesium oxide (300mg)
- Magnesium carbonate (210mg)
- Chelated magnesium/Magnesium glycinate (90mg)
- Magnesium citrate (80mg)
- Magnesium chloride (60mg)
- Magnesium taurate (45mg)
- Magnesium malate (33mg)
- Magnesium orotate (31mg)
- Magnesium gluconate(27mg)
While the amount of elemental magnesium is important, the bioavailability (absorption rate) is even more important. The types that are the most easily absorbed are magnesium orotate, magnesium citrate, and chelated magnesium (magnesium glycinate).
Avoid magnesium oxide (the most common form used in multivitamins). Magnesium oxide has the most elemental magnesium but it’s the least absorbed form of magnesium. Only about 4% of the elemental magnesium in magnesium oxide is absorbed – a measly 12mg in a 500mg tablet!
There are two magnesium supplements I recommend. Start with Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium. It has 100mg of elemental magnesium (magnesium glycinate) per tablet.
If that supplement gives you digestive issues or loose stools and diarrhea (common side effects when taking high levels of oral magnesium), then I recommend a liquid magnesium supplement called ReMag. This is the oral supplement I take exclusively because I can take as much as I want and I have zero digestive or stool problems.
Magnesium supplementation requires a lot of experimentation. All of us are unique so what supplement works well for me might not work for you. I cannot tolerate more than 300mg of magnesium glycinate per day or I’ll be on the toilet all day. You, on the other hand, might be able to take double that everyday without any issues.
It’s also a good idea to take different forms of magnesium as each type has unique health benefits. For example, magnesium taurate supplements like this one are very popular among afibbers for it’s cardiovascular benefits.
Magnesium malate supplements like this one are popular for people with fibromyalgia.
A final notes on oral magnesium supplements: Calcium and magnesium compete for absorption so if you take them together they will both compete with each other. Too much calcium also has the potential to excite the heart cells and induce an afib episode, especially when magnesium is deficient. Bottom line, afibbers should avoid magnesium supplements with calcium in them.
Getting More Magnesium Through Your Skin
Some afibbers are sensitive to oral magnesium supplements. They cause severe digestive issues or diarrhea and loose stools. As a result, oral supplements aren’t an option.
If you find this is the case for you then you can increase your magnesium levels through the use of magnesium oil, magnesium chloride flakes, or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate).
Magnesium oil is usually odorless. It is sprayed on the skin and allowed to dry. Most brands recommend that you wash it off after 20 minutes have passed. Most magnesium oils are messy and leave a white residue on your skin (which is why they recommend you wipe it off after 20 minutes).
After experimenting with many different magnesium oil sprays I found one that is nothing like typical magnesium oil products. It absorbs into your skin within minutes and doesn’t leave any residue. It’s called Ease magnesium spray.
There is 27mg of magnesium in each spray so if you spray your arm four times, you’ll have over 100mg of magnesium. I use Ease right after my morning workouts. I’ll typically apply four sprays on my under arms and arm pits and four sprays on my chest for a total of 12 sprays. This gives me around 325mg of magnesium.
If you have any issues with oral supplements, Ease spray is the best option. In fact, it might even be better than oral supplements. According to Dr. Mark Sircus’ book, “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy,” topical magnesium supplementation is far superior to any oral supplements.
Magnesium Chloride Flakes
Magnesium chloride flakes are an excellent topical magnesium option. They are the dry flakes of magnesium chloride and other naturally-occurring trace minerals and are far superior to epsom salts. One cup of flakes contains approximately 15g (GRAMS) of elemental magnesium chloride! Magnesium chloride flakes can also help with various skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
I use magnesium chloride flakes a couple times per week in foot soaks. I’ll use a 1/4 cup at a time. The only product I use, and highly recommend because of its superior quality, is Ancient Minerals magnesium chloride flakes.
Magnesium chloride flakes are much more expensive than epsom salts so I don’t recommend using it as a bath soak, although an occasional chloride flake bath soak is a nice luxury:) You can also make your own magnesium oil spray by mixing the flakes with distilled water. It’s messy and will leave a residue on your skin that you’ll have to wash off but with an 8lb. bag of flakes, you’ll be able to make enough magnesium oil spray to last a long time!
Epsom salts are another topical magnesium option. Magnesium sulfate isn’t as effective as magnesium chloride, nor does it have the trace minerals that magnesium chloride has, but it’s still a good option.
Like magnesium chloride flakes, you can use epsom salt in bath or foot soaks or make your own magnesium oil spray. I’ll occasionally combine Epsoak Epsom Salt with my magnesium chloride flakes when I do my foot soaks.
What Magnesium Dosage is Best to Treat Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation patients should generally take 600 mg/day to 800 mg/day, and those dosages should be spread evenly throughout the day.source
Because excessive magnesium or magnesium sensitivities can cause loose stools or diarrhea, you’ll want to start off with small doses, say 100 mg/day. You’ll want to work your way up from there, increasing the dosage gradually about a week at a time. So in week two you’ll increase it to 200 mg/day, week three 300 mg/day, etc. Plan on a long-term program, as it can take six months or more to bring your magnesium up to optimum levels.source
What Foods and Vitamins Affect Magnesium Absorption?
Vitamin D has a big impact on magnesium absorption, so it’s worthwhile to get out into the sun each day or take a daily vitamin D supplement. I take 1-2 drops of this vitamin D liquid supplement everyday to ensure maximum absorption of the high levels of magnesium I take.
Fiber from fruits and vegetables, fructose from fruits, complex carbohydrates and most proteins can help promote healthy absorption as well.
As I mentioned earlier, vitamins such as calcium can disrupt magnesium absorption. You can’t exactly cut calcium from your diet but you should avoid calcium supplements if you have atrial fibrillation.
Foods that interfere with magnesium absorption include coffee, tea, and soda. Carbonated beverages are especially detrimental to the body’s ability to absorb magnesium and would be a good idea for afib patients to remove them from their diet altogether.
Magnesium and Drug Interactions
Magnesium adversely affects warfarin (Coumadin). Magnesium interferes with the drug’s abilities to bind with proteins in your blood stream. When it fails to bind, the drug just sits in the blood stream instead of doing its job. As a result it can build up as you take your daily dose. That means magnesium could put you at risk for an overdose and excess bleeding.source
If you are already taking blood thinners or any medications for that matter, you should have a conversation with your doctor and do your research before attempting to start a magnesium regimen of any kind!
Signs of Too Much Magnesium Supplementation
The most common symptoms of excessive magnesium intake are loose stools and diarrhea. If this occurs, cut back your magnesium intake until you find a dosage you can tolerate. You should also try different forms of magnesium. If you find you can’t tolerate oral magnesium supplements, consider topical magnesium options as mentioned earlier.
Does Magnesium Really Work for Atrial Fibrillation?
There are certainly a lot of examples of where magnesium has been shown to help lessen the burden of atrial fibrillation. Some are anecdotal, like this comment from a thread on Daily Strength from a 43-year-old man who takes 500mg of magnesium per day about an hour before bed with amazing results.
And in this thread a woman comments how a combination of magnesium, taurine, and potassium (via low-sodium V8) has had a wonderful reduction in her afib symptoms.
And then there is this testimonial from a 57-year-old man with atrial fibrillation that stopped all of his prescriptions because he was completely relieved of his symptoms after taking magnesium.
A more compelling tale comes from Discover Magazine, which will tell you what a doctor directly observed after administering intravenous magnesium supplements during arrhythmia attacks. He got a near-immediate positive response in both cases.
In fact it’s not uncommon to be administered intravenous magnesium if you go to an E.R. of a hospital for an atrial fibrillation episode!
Of course as great as magnesium is for afib patients, it doesn’t always work. For every success story there are many people who say magnesium doesn’t do anything for their atrial fibrillation.
As great as magnesium might be for a lot of afib patients, it should not be treated as a panacea. It is one tool in your treatment toolbox, one treatment option out of many. Yes, it might really work for your atrial fibrillation…but every person is different so don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you.
Recommended Magnesium Resources for Afibbers
If you really want to geek out on magnesium and take a “deep dive,” I recommend the following books.
Atrial Fibrillation: Remineralize Your Heart by Dr. Carolyn Dean
The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Magnificent Magnesium by Dr. Dennis Goodman
Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Dr. Mark Sircus
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. These affiliate links in no way affect my recommendations and any commissions earned from them goes towards the funding of this site to keep it up and running with minimal to no obnoxious advertising!
Do you have magnesium recommendations for atrial fibrillation?
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I currently take 75mg of flecainide twice a day for PVC’s. (those things have hijacked my life! I HATE THEM!) And..I had an ablation a year ago in June. My EP said to add some magnesium. However, I don’t know which one and he didn’t elaborate. I also have some crazy anxiety and depression going on.
Can anyone recommend a particular magnesium?
Hi Tammie: Check out rnareset.com to see all Dr. Carolyn Deans supplements and very absorbable ReMag Magnesium in liquid format. I have afib and am determined to get off these blockers, etc. so am adding to my regime the magnesium and also potassium, etc. Her supplements are good and verifed by many – most of her books are free so you can read about all these products and conditions. I also told my doctor/cardiologist about them and she seems eager to hear more and test for my magnesium levels in a couple of months when I’m saturated.
Thank you, Carolyn. I’ll certainly check it out!
Thank you for your articles and I’ve subscribed to your newsletter. After having afib for three years, with increasing dosages of diltiazem, and metoprolol and pradaxa bthinners, I have started taking Dr. Best’s Magnesium and shared all, including Dr. Long’s book, with my cardiologist. All she said, was: “great – we’ll do a magnesium level test in 3 months!” which is great, but I’m also experiencing a new set of symptoms, which is vertigo – my heart rate isn’t highly elevated as with a “normal” afib episode, but I feel unsteady and dizzy, and a bit off. The doctor says it “could be” another afib symptom. Have you heard of this? Is it because of magneisum dosage perhaps? I’ve quit drinking alcohol for the most part, as well as very little chocolate and eat well and exercise, so I don’t know what more I could do to change things. Thanks much for any feedback anyone has!
H Travis, I would appreciate it, if you could respond to this, You had mentioned that you took remag as your magnesium supplement. In order to take it, Carolyn Dean says you need to add 1/4 tsp of sea salt with the remag in a liter of water. Isn’t the salt bad for the afib ? Or is the sea salt better because of the added minerals in it? Also since I noticed you take a multivitamin, I assume you don’t take the remyte ( mineral supplement) that usually goes with the remag .I would really like to try to take the right supplements for myself .I know the remag is a good magnesium but am very hesitant about taking the sea salt with it because of my afib. Also not sure about taking the remyte too I hope to hear back from you about this. Thanks again for all you do.
Sea salt is totally different than table salt! As you’ve pointed out, sea salt is natural and contains trace amounts of several key minerals. Just do a Google search for pink Himalayan sea salt and you’ll see what it’s all about.
I used to take ReMyte along with ReMag but honestly it got to be too expensive so I just take ReMag and a multivitamin, but ReMyte with ReMag is a great combination!!
Travis, thank you for this informative blog. So helpful! I’m wondering if you know how much Taurine is in Magnesium Taurate caps. I started taking the Double Wood mag-taurate supplement about 6 months ago and have noticed a signifiant improvement in a-flutter and pvcs. But I was also taking the NOW Taurine powder that was helping before I started the Mag-Taurate. Now wondering if I should stop taking the Taurine supplement. I haven’t been able to track down actual taurine levels in Mag-Taurate. Do you know or know where I could get this info? Maybe a pharmacist?
I checked out the label of the mag-taurine product you’re taking and all it says is 1,500mg total of mag-taurine. It’s going to be impossible to determine what the exact mag to taurine ratio is. I’m more of a fan of taking supplements individually – i.e. take a magnesium supplement and take a separate taurine supplement. That way you can control the amount you’re taking of each.
Travis, So glad I found your site! I have learned a lot from you. I have tried many different magnesium types but have yet to find the right one. I have even tried remag but stopped because Dr Dean recommends you take it with sea salt in the water. I think that the sodium made my AFib worse. When you take it do u also take it with the sea salt? I recently bought the ease spray because you recommended it. I also am going to try the potassium gluconate powder since I have not tried supplementing with additional potassium.. I hope they help me. Thanks for all you do.
Magnesium glycinate seems to have reduced my AFib by 95%. But the cardio I started might also be the reason. I read I should just do moderate cardio, not push my limits, with my condition.
Thank you for this article. Google top results were worthless here.
I wasn’t sure where to post this, but do you have an opinion on taurine, which seems less established than magnesium as a beneficial supplement?
Can magnesium cure paroxysmal atrial fibrillation which I have had for nearly five years events last a few hours to minutes. I am taking warefin to prevent stroke is mg safe for me?
Magnesium will not cure afib. It certainly has the potential to help alleviate afib symptoms, however. As for warfarin and magnesium, I’d talk to your doctor first.
I’ve heard so much about magnesium but I’m still confused as to WHICH mag is the best to start trying?
You’re not alone. Finding the “right” magnesium that works for you can be very confusing! I would start by looking at this product:
Otherwise, I would start with the brands mentioned above in this article.
The thing with magnesium is that it may take some experimentation on your end to find the right kind of magnesium (and brand) and the right dose that works best for you.
I was interested in learning more about the ReMag Magnesium. I have Ionic Magnesium and it seems to be very similar. The biggest issue I have found with the Ionic is it’s so strong that even in water I find it the most horrid taste that one must gulp quickly and follow asap with crackers or something. I have a strong stomach and can tolerate much (greeny juicer here) but this stuff is really horrible, yet advertised as tasting good. I am going to ask if the ReMag is as bad tasting?
All of these liquid magnesium supplements have a strong (some would say nasty) taste! I use both products – ReMag and Ionic Magnesium – and they taste almost identical. I mix mine with vitamin C powder which cuts the taste dramatically. Then again, I’ve been taking it for so long now that it’s possible I’ve just grown accustomed to it:) The taste doesn’t bother me at all but anyone new trying these will certainly recoil in disgust.
I just got diagnosed with afib 2 months ago. My cardiologist has me on Eliquis 5 mgs twice a day, Sotalol 80 mgs twice a day and Cozar 50 for my blood pressure. Reading through your blog—it has made me question MANY things about my treatment and my doctor!
For instance, she told me my Magnesium was low but not “low enough to treat,” and that was just serum magnesium! Do you think I should supplement myself? Secondly, from what I’ve read I predominately have my episodes after I eat and when I’m sleeping. I told her this and she said, “that’s normal because we are quiet and notice them more.” I say, NO WAY! The episodes are unmistakeable! No matter how busy I am, I would know if I had them during the day.
All this info is making me mistrust trust her knowledge. That’s very scary to me! In your opinion, should I take magnesium supplements and should I go to an EP? If so, can you give me a recommended EP for my area? I live in the Atlanta Georgia area. Thank you!
I fully concur with your comment. My comment is the previous one dated 8 Oct. below. One thing I have become convinced of after multiple visits to Cardiologists and other ‘Specialists’: no-one, but no-one has any idea whatsoever of what causes an irregular heartbeat. They are completely clueless and every time they have asked ME what causes it, instead of THEM telling me, and prescribing accordingly.
The chemicals they have given me so far DO NOT prevent episodes of an irregular heartbeat but make them more intense. The upshot is that all they can do is prescribe something nasty that prevents blood clots, and if necessary lowers blood pressure, and hopefully prevents a stroke or heart attack. Note: my chemist told me that Warfarin is actually RAT POISON as it was originally formulated for that purpose. Scary but true!
If your serum magnesium is low, then you are probably low – period. What I would do if I were you is I would have an RBC Magnesium test. This will give you a more accurate picture of your magnesium levels.
If your magnesium is low on the RBC test, then I would certainly consider taking magnesium supplements! Please note, however, it can take several weeks (to months) to build up your magnesium levels so you have to be consistent with your intake and you have to be patient.
The fact that you have your episodes mostly at rest or after sleeping indicates “vagal afib.”
Also, you should definitely see an EP. Anyone with afib or any arrhythmia should be working with an EP vs a general cardiologist.
I wish you well!
Thanks for all the information. But please what is a EP?
EP is short for electrophysiologist. EP’s are cardiologists that specialize in treating heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation.
I am the same way after I eat and always at night by 2pm. Please read and research” Liver and Afib connection” Liver causes heart attacks, it a valuable book. Vagus nerve and Afib, histamines, gas, h’yphylori, gluten intolerence many digestive issues causes AFIB. Gasx and Pepti bismol calms my stomach. I have “pills in the pocket” take them when I get into AFIB. Organic/ clean eating/ supplements/ juicing help me. All the best.
I have suffered arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat – is that the same as atrial fibrillation ‘af’ ?) since 1985 and it has not done me any harm except feeling ‘out of sorts’ and tired.
I have been hospitalised six times because of fear of a heart attack and sent home each time, because the heart returned to normal by the time I got to emergency.
The last time, just two weeks ago I was again hospitalised at the urging of my GP and ‘wired up’ like a crash test dummy for two days for intense testing. Then sent home!
This time I was prescribed Eliquis to thin the blood (previously tried Xarelto but that caused alarming bleeding from my anus and black stools) and Metoprolol to regulate the heartbeat. So far so good.
However, while my heartbeat now is as low as 50 bpm even after exercise, the episodes of arrhythmia continue merrily, unabated, as ever before. In fact, it now feels worse, like two cats fighting in my chest. So, what is the point of taking the Metoprolol. Should I just go with the magnesium as several contributors here recommend, and see what happens? Things cannot get any worse, surely?
HI, a question:
You said, “Carbonated beverages are especially detrimental to the body’s ability to absorb magnesium ”
Is this because of the acidifying effect from the C02 or did you mean sugary carb drinks? Thanks!
After reading Dr. Dean’s book on magnesium I’ve decided to try ReMag Magnesium, although I’ve been using Ease Magnesium successfully to this point. My question is I prefer using magnesium in spray form but do not know how to estimate how many sprays of REMAG to use to get 500-600 mgs per day.
Supposedly Remag is a powerful magnesium and I want to be careful. Calling the company did not help. I don’t find it in the book although it specifically states it may be used in spray form. I would appreciate your intake.
I’m going to copy the protocol that RnA ReSet (the makers of ReMag) left on Amazon when someone asked how to use ReMag topically. Here it is:
Using ReMag for topical use [local injury, sprains, strains, inflammation]:
1 ml = 8 sprays (5 mls in a tsp.)
1.25 ml in a 1/4 tsp. = 11 sprays
Instructions: Transfer ReMag into a spray bottle. Do not dilute. It’s not necessary to rub ReMag into the skin. Spray ReMag lightly, let it sit and dry. After a few minutes, spray again and do that 4-5 times to let the layers build. Do this 2-3 times a day for painful injuries, arthritis, or back pain to help heal deep tissues.
Interpreting that protocol, it takes roughly 20-22 sprays to equal one 1/2 tsp. serving of ReMag (150mg of magnesium). It would take 67-73 sprays per day to equal 500mg of ReMag magnesium.
It would take less EASE magnesium spray than ReMag so if you’re going to take magnesium topically I would use EASE over ReMag.
What about Magnesium L-Threonate? Any thoughts?
Magnesium l-threonate is a relatively new magnesium supplement so it doesn’t have the many years track record of other forms of magnesium. Having said that, l-threonate is used primarily for enhanced “brain function” (i.e. learning, memory, etc.) and not so much for the heart or cardiovascular system.
Maybe I’m wrong, but it just seems to me that if you look at say a primitive village in China, where the people eat from the land, hardly any afib is found. Whereas in America, we are the true Capital of AFIB. What are we doing or missing in our diet? Could it be insufficient magnesium? But it’s not just magnesium, of course. It’s the entire American Diet. But if we go to a primitive diet, would we be able to end afib? That seems to me the question that needs to be asked. Does it not?
It is interesting how we have more afib than any other country. Our American diet is probably to blame but who knows. Questions like this are above my pay grade:)
Travis, as an afib patient, after adding Ease Magnesium Oil and Klor Con Potassium powder to my regimen I am experiencing much improvement in my symptoms with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. I gradually increased the number of magnesium sprays to approximately 500-600 daily and find my palpitations have become barely perceptible.
After reading one of your recent newsletters I decided to add ReMag Lotion Hydrator to my regimen to possibly benefit my skin. My question is can I use both of these products simultaneously? How much magnesium is too much? Thank you for the great service you provide to afib patients.
Did you literally mean 500-600 sprays of magnesium per day? That is a lot of magnesium!! What is the total amount of magnesium you get per day?
You can definitely combine different forms and types of magnesium. In fact, it’s probably very smart to do so because different forms of magnesium provide different benefits. However, you’ll want to be careful how much magnesium you get per day. Most of the afibbers that share their experiences with magnesium take around 600-800mg of magnesium per day – some take as much as 1,000mg (1 gram) per day.
I personally take around 400-500mg per day but during my ablation blanking period and for the year following my ablation I was taking 800-1,000mg/day.
You’ll want to do your own experimentation and see what dosage and forms of magnesium work best for you. The primary concern with taking too much magnesium is that it can cause a laxative effect, or if you have kidney issues you want to be careful as well.
Quite the contrary. I don’t spray 500-600 Sprays a day. I spray three times a day and estimate it to be 500-600/mg total.
It has made an enormous difference! I feel as though I’m getting my life back. I am much improved and rarely experience any palpitations. I believe doctors need to educate themselves on this very important supplement as part of afib protocol.
After reading your newsletters and other research I suggested to my cardiologist that perhaps we should add potassium and magnesium as part of my regimen. I think it is critically important afib patients stay informed, keep researching and learn everything we can to conquer this debilitating condition.
Thanks for the clarification! I assumed you meant 500-600/mg. per day but wanted to be sure. That is a typical dosage and seems to be working very well for you! I’m glad magnesium is helping. I wish you the best of health!
I am 65 years old and was diagnosed with paroxysmal Afib last August. I am on daily flecainide and metoprolol to control what were mild weekly episodes of afib. I hesitate to take a blood thinner because I have fast movements and am somewhat clumsy.
On April 25, I started taking 2 (400 mg) magnesium citrate tables daily for muscle cramping. The afib episodes have stopped completely. After abstaining from alcohol for the last six months, I had a glass of wine one day and a cocktail the next without any afib symptoms. (Previously a few sips of alcohol would cause my heart to start racing. )
Am I cured? Can I get off my afib medications? I am pretty sure I must have had a magnesium deficiency as I stopped drinking tap water several years ago and drink only deionized water.
While magnesium repletion can help relieve afib symptoms for a period of time, it cannot cure afib. I know some proponents of magnesium say you can effectively cure afib with it, I don’t believe them. I don’t know of anyone that has been cured of afib strictly by magnesium.
I would continue what you’re doing – meds + magnesium – and see how you continue to do. If it gets to the point where you can’t tolerate the side effects of the drugs or they simply stop working (i.e. your afib returns), then I would strongly consider having an ablation by an elite-level EP.
P.S. If you are having regular afib episodes you may want to talk to your doctor about taking blood thinners. I’m not a fan of them either but given your age and sex you’re at a moderate-high risk level of stroke according to the
Can you recommend an elite level EP in the Boston area to do a catheter ablation?
Are you having side effects on your medication? I am having tiredness and depression with the drug I am on. My doctor may put me on metoprolol, but after looking it up, it looks like there are a lot of side effects as well.
Hi Terri, I am not a doctor. I am someone with A-fib for over 20 years. I was put on Metoprorol and it was a challenging start. Not only do I not have high blood pressure, but it tended to be low.
Once on Metoprorol, it dropped to 55/39, but eventually stabilized. I was crushingly tired for the first month, and then I got used to it. A few months later, my doctor decreased the dose and I’ve been on it five years now and am doing great.
Maybe your symptoms will even out too, or perhaps it’s not right for you?
Travis, I wonder if you get these as I have tried to write before but didn’t get a response. I took Cardiovascular Laboratories Magnesium Taurate for years (125 mg. twice a day). At first it helped with my PVC’s and PAC’s but lately it really doesn’t do much. I just switched to another brand but it is 200 mg. and the label says once a day or directed by health care professional.
I have no one to advise me as my Dr. says “who knows” about magnesium but I have taken it for years. So, at 200 mg. should I stick to the one a day, or increase it to two a day? I took 250 mg. total for years.
I had a cardiac ablation in June 2017 and so far have remained free of AFIB but still have my PVC’s and PAC’s which are a pain. I would like to take this new magnesium if it’s better than the old, as Cardiovascular Labs has changed their formula but also I find a TON – a TON – of white powder in the bottom of my bottle and wonder how many empty capsules I’ve been taking.
Thank you for any help please.
Sorry if you wrote before and I didn’t reply. I get so many comments throughout this blog that it’s hard to keep up with them all. I do respond to every comment that is looking for a response, however.
I am not a doctor and I don’t play one online either so I can only tell you what I know and have experienced. I have talked to MANY afibbers who take magnesium and many of them are taking 400mg or more per day! I used to take 800-900mg per day but now I’m down to 400-600mg per day.
If you talk to magnesium experts like Dr. Carolyn Dean, she generally recommends around 400mg as well (as a starting point). Just Google her and you’ll find her info and her recommendations.
If you increase your dose just watch your bowel movements. If they get really loose or straight out diarrhea then reduce the dose – or switch to another form of magnesium. When magnesium isn’t absorbed it gets wasted through your stools.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions, fire away.
I use between 800-2,000mg almost every day and I feel like a young man today. Very seldom I am some dizzy but I just renovated my house completely and repainted the outside of my 3 story house. I am 73 years old. 5 years ago I could not walk two steps on a stairway. Now I work and walk every day about 7km. Fast walk and slow walk not running. For blood-thinner I use garlic.
I use magnesium citrate or sometimes glycinate in powder form.
Thanks for sharing your experience! And congrats on finding a magnesium protocol that works so well for you!
Recently my heart doctor had removed Clopidrogrel 75mg (PLAVIX) and Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg (CONCOR) from the prescription and substituted with only a stronger blood thinner, Rivaroxaban 20mg (XARELTO), to continue treating my AF issue after I had sudden near syncope on 3/14/2018.
A friend recommended me to take supplement, Magnesium Citrate 500mg. I am in a dilemma and concern over Magnesium interaction with blood thinner, Rivaroxaban. SOS, please. RSVP appreciated.
For liability reasons I can’t advise you if taking magnesium is “perfectly safe” taking Xarelto. However, what I can share with you is my own experience. I had to be on Eliquis (it’s similar to Xarelto) for a period of time (approximately 4 months) and I took magnesium without any issues. I can’t recall my exact dose but it was somewhere between 300-400mg of magnesium per day. I have also heard from other afibbers who have taken magnesium with Xarelto and Eliquis without issues.
Here is what I would do if I were you. I would talk to your doctor and tell him you did some research and you learned that magnesium may help your afib. You’d like to take up to 500mg of magnesium per day. Is he o.k. with that?
If you decide to proceed after your doctor gives you the o.k., I would introduce the magnesium slowly. I’d start with 100mg per day for a few days…then go to 200mg per day for a few days…etc. and see how you respond to it.
Just make sure your doctor knows how much you’re taking. My doctor never had an issue with me taking magnesium with my blood thinner (Eliquis) but my health situation may be totally different than your’s.
I have had atrial fibrillation for several years. I ignored the advice from specialists to have funny operations and implants. I stopped the use of blood thinners and went to magnesium, 1500mg per day for 3 months. I included vitamin K2, Taurine high dose, potassium and CoQ10-ubiquinol. As a blood thinner I use garlic. After one month I went to work and feel well. Now I lowered the use of magnesium to 1000mg/day.
Thanks for sharing your experience with magnesium and how you’ve used it to help manage your atrial fibrillation.
Do you still have afib? If so, do you have paroxysmal afib or persistent afib?
My mother-in-law has afib and I was looking for information for her. I found this discussion interesting. I recently started taking a calcium supplement that had magnesium and vitamin D in it a s well and then read you shouldn’t take calcium and magnesium together. Is this only for afib patients or everyone? Although it is only 50 mg of magnesium and another small does in the multivitamin it seems to help me sleep better and feel calmer. Wasn’t sure about if I should get one without the combo or not since the doctor said I needed the calcium supplement for bone loss after a bone density test. Under the magnesium it says “Lithothamnion as marine algae”?
The comments regarding calcium are for people with atrial fibrillation so I wouldn’t worry about it. I should also point out that I’m not saying people with afib should avoid calcium supplements all together. They just need to be careful about taking them (and should probably take the absolute lowest doses of calcium supplements).
Thank you for your quick reply!
You mentioned using dark chocolate with caution. Why is this and what effect does dark chocolate have?
I recently started eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day thinking it would be healthy for me (and enjoyable) but just had my first afib incident and am wondering if that was a factor. I was told in the emergency room that my potassium levels were low. I did have an ablation for ventricular tachycardia 8 years ago and this is the first time I’ve had any sort of problem since.
My doctor has me on Eliquis and Atenolol now and taking the Eliquis makes me nervous. After reading this blog I am going to change my magnesium supplement and am wondering about potassium and how does chocolate affect things. Thanks for all the information. I’m still trying to process it all.
It’s unlikely the chocolate played a role in your recent episode. I encourage you to read this post where I discuss chocolate and atrial fibrillation:
Low levels of potassium could possibly be the culprit. Maintaining proper potassium levels is critical for maintaining NSR. In most cases when someone has an arrhythmia their potassium levels are out of whack. Having said that, don’t interpret that as a recommendation to take potassium supplements! It’s more important to focus on magnesium first because it takes proper levels of magnesium to keep potassium levels in check. Just try to get the recommended daily intake of potassium (4,700 mg/day) from your diet while you work on increasing your magnesium stores via magnesium supplements.
I wish you well!
I took the EXA Test last year. It was determined that I should take 400 mg of magnesium aspartate each day. It caused diarrhea. I reduced the dose to 200 a day. I have constant afib.
You may want to try different forms of magnesium such as magnesium glycinate. I personally take a product called ReMag. It allows me to take high doses of magnesium without any diarrhea. If oral supplements don’t work then you might want to consider a magnesium spray such as Ease magnesium spray.
How long have you been in constant afib? Are you taking any medications? Have you considered having an ablation? Magnesium alone will probably not convert you.
Hi, I’m Pat (female, age 63 and recently had my first afib emergency on Oct 17, 2017). At the ER, they virtually did nothing except put my on a saline drip and let me go after 4 hrs. When I arrived, my HR was at 160. My VA MD prescribed blood pressure and cholesterol meds. I reluctantly took them for a month and quit on Dec 1. They made me weak, and gave me a terrible cough.
I started looking into magnesium. Today while out shopping I picked up a bottle of Magnesium Citrate 250 mg. When I got home from shopping around 2PM and taking things into the house I felt the afib coming on and hoped it would calm down on it’s own. I was monitoring my BP and HR which was at 137. I remembered the Magnesium and figured “I got nothing to lose” and took the recommended 2 capsules = 250mg. And of course prayed! Within an hour, my BP was 120/80 and my HR was 84. Wow!
Pat that’s terrific! Thanks for sharing your story.
Only had a couple of times required stopping heart in emergency room and then electrically starting me up again.
Most of time I had up to 6 episodes per year and learned to convert by using my fist closed tight with enough space to blow like you were blowing on a small straw. Took a half dozen times before converting.
Emergency also advised me to squat down as if you were going to have a bowel movement and pressing hard.
In the last couple of years I have had conversions very rapidly with combination of laying on back on the floor, placing legs on top of a chair seat, pressure like squatting and blowing through fist. Sometimes as fast as 15-20 seconds.
Tried Magnesium Citrate 2 times 150 twice daily. Had to go down to 1 capsule a day and that still had problems with bowel.
Worst time is when sleeping and Afib starts and is at max before my body wakes me.
Thanks for the tips on how to self-convert. That’s terrific that you can sometimes convert in 15-20 seconds! Regarding the magnesium citrate, that form of magnesium can definitely cause loose stools. Have you considered other forms and brands of magnesium?
Quick question, I have been taking Doctor’s Best but having lots of bathroom problems so I tried Remag but then read this article on Ease so I got that. It seems to be the best so right now I cut my Doctor’s Best to one pill twice a day and am doing 15 sprays morning and night. This morning I had a real issue with getting hot so I am thinking maybe I used to much Ease? Also, can you use Remag as a spray or do you recommend Ease over Remag?
It’s possible your skin is sensitive to too much magnesium spray (thus the hot feeling). I’d try cutting back how much you use for each dose for a while and gradually work up to 15 sprays per dose.
You can definitely use ReMag as a spray. I’ve never used it that way myself so I don’t know if it will absorb as quickly and as clean as Ease. I think Ease is also more affordable. If you continue to have issues with Ease then I would try ReMag as a spray and see how it goes.
Thank you so much for your response, could you answer me another question? As I stated before, I cut my Doctor’s Best to a pill in the morning and one at night and am doing the 15 sprays morning/evening of the Ease, but the last day or two, I have had some skips. Which one would you suggest that I start taking more of, the sprays or the pills? I feel I’m not getting enough because on the four pills a day, I wasn’t having any issues but bathroom of course.
When it comes to supplements it’s all about experimentation. There is no “one-size” fits all, unfortunately. If I were in your shoes I would start by adding another pill around the lunch hour so you’re taking 3 pills per day. See what happens. If you get loose stools, then you’ll know that extra pill is too much. Then maybe you go to half a pill at noon. If that still doesn’t work then you may have to stick with the spray (and just add more of it – i.e. spray around the noon hour).
The other thing you can do too is try other brands and forms of magnesium.
I hope this helps!
Travis, after swearing by my favorite supplement, Magnesium, I now have mixed feelings about it. Actually, I rarely take it and when I do, its a very small amount. I think its possible that when Mag is taken with other supplements, it can prematurely wash away those with its extreme laxative effect. I also disagree with my ND on the schedule of taking all supplements at once. Just as we eat food throughout the day, I believe we should space our intake instead of loading up at once. Besides the Adrenal support, I take smaller amounts of ADKC and E. Mag is on an as need basis and then only 200mg.
“As a result it can build up as you take your daily dose. That means magnesium could put you at risk for an overdose and excess bleeding.”
I take 100 mg of Cardiovascular Research Ltd Magnesium Taurate supplement. I am also on Warfarin. I want to increase the amount of Mag I take, but after reading this article Mag is contraindicated with Warfarin. Since most people with A-Fib need to take an anticoagulant how do we go about increasing our Mag?
Great discussion – thanks. I was diagnosed with afib about a year ago and have been taking Pure’s – Ionic-Fizz Magnesium Plus at night before bed. It seems to work, as my episodes have decreased, but I have not been taking it on a regular basis, but plan to start. I don’t see it on your recommended sources of magnesium. Do you have any thoughts on the product? Since it contains more than just magnesium and I’m wondering just how much magnesium I’m actually getting.
I’m assuming you’re referring to this Pure Ionic Fizz Magnesium. I’m not familiar with it but after looking at the label it says it has 300mg of magnesium in the form of magnesium carbonate. It also contains other vitamins and minerals so it’s more than just a single-ingredient magnesium supplement.
My concern would be that magnesium carbonate has only about a 30% bioavailability rate. As a result, it can have a strong laxative-effect.
I always try to stick with single ingredient supplements (i.e. a magnesium only supplement, a potassium only supplement, etc.). This allows me to control how much I want to take of each and ensures I’m not taking a supplement with a bunch of other ingredients.
Having said that, if you’re doing well on the Pure Ionic Fizz Magnesium supplement, stick with it! We’re all different so we’re all going to respond differently to these supplements.
This is a follow-up to the discussion we had on the 21st and 22nd of September. I continue to take the Pure Ionic Fizz Magnesium at bedtime and have had good results. I wanted to increase my magnesium intake, so I bought the large bottle of ReMag. Unfortunately, I’m one of the few that just can’t tolerate the taste. I started slow (1/8 teaspoon in water and / or juice), but it just turns my stomach.
As an alternative, I purchased Cardiovascular Research’s Magnesium Taurate and have been taking it twice a day, plus the Magnesium Fizz at bedtime. My Afib episodes have decreased, but the increased Magnesium is having a laxative effect.
From what I’ve read, ReMag does not have a laxative effect, so I’d really like to get back to taking it. Do you or any of your readers have a better way to take it? Is it at all effective if I rub it on my skin?
ReMag *usually* doesn’t have a laxative effect. The taste has never really bothered me but you must be a “super taster” (i.e. someone very sensitive to taste). I can practically drink it right out of the bottle!
If you just can’t get past the taste I recommend you try Magnesium Ease spray (see the picture of it above in my article). It’s the best spray out there. It soaks into your skin quickly and doesn’t leave any messy residue on your skin either.
After a recent rather long Afib event resulting in cardioversion I am looking at my Magnesium sources. Do you still use the Ease Spray? I’ve used it for awhile but have seen some negative reviews as far as absorbability. I will be getting my RBC checked again after a year for mag. I do like the Doctors Best, along with Mag Taurate. I haven’t tried the Remag yet.
I haven’t used my Ease Spray in a while but when I use a spray it’s the only one I use. It’s a great product.
I read that magnesium can make an AFib attack worse. Any comments on this?
I’ve never heard of magnesium making an afib attack worse. Do you know where you read that? I’d like to read it myself. If anything, magnesium just won’t affect your afib episodes. I doubt it would make them worse.
I changed to a more bio-available type of Magnesium, after supplementing unwittingly with poorly bio-available forms of Magnesium for 15 years. Soon, I was taking 600mg of Magnesium a day (mixed types), and after 6 weeks, I started getting lots of PVCs.
I do get runs of PVCs, but these were really bad and were happening in the AM and PM. After a week of so many PVCs, I started reading up and decided I was taking too much Magnesium. The runs of PVCs also coincided with the times I took my Magnesium. I stopped all Magnesium for 10 days, and within 4 days, all PVCs stopped. I then moved to 100mg Magnesium for a week, 225mg for two weeks, and and next week I return to 350mg, where I plan to stay.
Two days ago, I had an attack of A-Fib. I popped a Magnesium, took a Flecainide, drank tons of water, and it stopped within 8 hours. So after this long answer, what I am trying to say is I believe lowering my Magnesium intake made me more susceptible to a bout of A-Fib.
In my experience, Magnesium is very important in reducing the number of A-Fib attacks I have a year. To give you an idea, this was my 2nd A-Fib attack for 2017.
Hey Mare! It’s been a while since I’ve heard from you. Only two afib episodes in 2017, that’s fantastic!
What type of magnesium are you taking? That is, what specific brand?
Are you still planning on staying at 350mg of magnesium per day or will you be increasing your daily dose?
I’m going to be commenting on this whole topic of “too much magnesium” in a future post. I’m convinced that too much magnesium can cause PVCs and PACs. I cut my daily magnesium in half (from 600mg to 300mg) and my PVCs and PACs have almost disappeared completely.
Question on the Magnesium, I have been taking Doctor’s Best for a couple of months now(400 mgs)and yesterday and today, I have had breakthrough PVC’s and had about a 30 minute AFIB episode and I am freaking out. What am I doing wrong? Is that not enough magnesium or is it too much? I have read up to 1000 mgs but the 400 is making my bathroom visit not great so I don’t know what more will do to me. Please help?
Too much or too little magnesium can definitely affect things. We’re all unique so we’re all going to respond to magnesium differently. You’ll have to experiment with your dosage and the type of magnesium you take.
Since your current brand is causing you to go to the bathroom (a common side effect for most magnesium supplements), I strongly encourage you to consider ReMag. Here is my review of this product:
Another option would be to use the transdermal magnesium products (magnesium you spray on your skin). I recommend Ease magnesium spray – see my comments about this product in the article above.
If you go the ReMag route, I would start out with a small dose and gradually increase it to the point where it drives you to the bathroom. We call this “bowel tolerance.” Alternatively, pay attention to what your heart does. If you take 300mg of ReMag and you notice you have more PVCs and afib, reduce your dose. Again, it’s all about experimentation.
At the end of the day, you may discover that magnesium doesn’t help you at all – or that you simply can’t tolerate it.
Great information! Hope to begin the mineral attack on my afib!
Good luck Crystal!
Travis, I wanted to give a warning to afibber’s taking magnesium orally. Two weeks ago I switched from Doctors Best Magnesium to KAL Magnesium Glycinate 400mg Softgels. I had a very scary experience about 2 hours after taking the KAL softgels. I drank a Carnation Breakfast drink before taking the new KAL Magnesium. I suffered severe burning in my esophagus, and my stomach, severe bloating, terrible pains in my intestines. I suffered chest pains and yes they were in my jaw and left shoulder and arm. I felt like I was going to die.
I decided it was the Carnation drink so the next day I took 2 softgels with dinner. Hours later, severe burning in my stomach again, nausea, and very rapid heart rate for 7 to 8 hours. I stopped the KAL Magnesium Glycinate and returned the bottles for a refund. I switched back to Doctors Best Magnesium. Three days later I began having diarrhea, gurgling and bloated stomach.
Then the most horrible palpitations started, endless, anything I did, just getting up and walking to the bathroom set them off. I had severe fatigue, lethargy and pounding in my chest. I decided to stop all supplements and after 3 days the weakness and palpitations stopped. I don’t know what happened, but it makes me wonder if I had toxic levels of magnesium in my body. I was taking 650mg daily.
I had to stop eating bananas and chocolate because the doctor said they are high in tyramine, a heart stimulant, especially ripe bananas.
Everybody needs to look out for the symptoms of magnesium toxicity, my doctor said it is rare, but it does sneak up on you. He said my first indicator which I ignored was loose bowels. Then it progressed into other problems the more magnesium I took orally. I have since switched to the transdermal magnesium spray called “Ease.” It is not hard on the gastro or kidneys either.
Just be careful and DON’T ignore magnesium toxicity symptoms. It slowly crept up on me, then knocked me out of my shoes. Just be careful everybody.
Thanks for sharing your experience taking magnesium. Sorry it didn’t go so well. Your comments are a good reminder that we need to pay attention to any symptoms and side effects when supplementing with magnesium (or any mineral or vitamin for that matter).
As I noted in my article, magnesium supplementation is all about experimentation. Some types and brands will work better for you than others. Different doses will play a role as well. You want to start out SLOW – I’d say 100-150mg per day and then gradually increase how much you take over a period of weeks. Monitor your symptoms (if any) as you gradually increase your dose and adjust accordingly.
The main symptoms to watch out for when taking magnesium are loss stools and diarrhea. If you experience these symptoms, you need to reduce your daily dose. And if you experience these symptoms no matter how much you take you will need to try a different type of magnesium or a different brand.
Ease spray is a great product! I have a bottle sitting on my desk and I use it regularly. That’s definitely the product to use if you can’t tolerate oral magnesium supplements.
Thank You for this great post!
I live in Bloemfontein, South Africa. when I asked my doctor (GP) recently about any other magnesium test I could take except the serum test he said, “I don’t think so.”
My cardiologist previously said I can take a few magnesium supplements before a long race or training ride (cycling more than 100km) but it was not as if it was a serious issue for him.
My serum test usually shows my magnesium levels are in order….If that counts for anything?
Thanks to your post, I am going to go into this “magnesium issue” to find my own true levels.
Hey Janco! Serum tests will almost always indicate normal levels. They are pretty worthless to be honest. I’d ask for a RBC magnesium test at least. While not perfectly accurate either, it will be a much better indicator of your cellular magnesium levels.
P.S. I like your blog. Keep up the good work!
I went into Afib in the fall of 2016. After my heart failed to slow down I finally went in and I was admitted to the hospital at 190/140 and a heart rate of 130 BPM. They did the standard BP reduction and then on night three a nurse brought in an IV bag and stand and told me she was a specialist in administering amiodarone. My doctor had not discussed this with me but I had my laptop and after 15 minutes of review I decided to allow her to inject me. It lasted one night. I was sent home on 200 MG of oral amiodarone twice per day.
This is when I began studying and purchased Doctor’s Best chelated Magnesium and COQ10. I took the Coq10 twice a day and 1000 MG of magnesium per day. About 10 days after I was released I took 400 MG one evening which I had cut into 8 pcs because they where hard to swallow. Well about 20 minutes later my heart reset, it hurt like hell, I felt like a truck ran over me for a week. I am down to one of the COQ10 per day and one or two of the magnesium depending on how I feel.
I discussed this with my cardiologist and he fully supported my continuing both supplements. He agreed with me that it was probably a combination of this drug and the supplements that reset my heart rate. As of today, 3/14/17, my afib has not returned. My BP was just 145/85 ; HR 83. It is usually slower but I will take this.
Great to hear you found the right combination of magnesium and CoQ10!
Magnesium tablets can definitely be hard to swallow. They not only are big but they go down like a big piece of chalk sometimes:)
If you don’t want the hassle of breaking up tablets, you might want to try chelated magnesium powder like this one by Seeking Health. This is every bit as pure and effective as Doctor’s Best. In fact, it’s the same magnesium just in powder form.
Travis, I have AFIB, MS and Peripheral Neuropathy. I have been on Magnesium for years. I tried all of the brands, including Pure Encapsulations at $65 for 240 Capsules. The ONLY one that has truly helped me has been the Doctor’s Best Magnesium Glycinate. Honestly it is superior to every other Magnesium I have used.
I was advised to take Magnesium Taurate, but have had a hard time finding a really good brand that gets good reviews, and gets good reviews from independent labs.
My Doctor told me to order a bottle of Kirkman Labs Taurine 325mg He told me to take 3 magnesium tablets when I got up, and include a 325mg Taurine, then repeat the process at night. He told me, “That way you are getting the best of the Magnesium, and adding a low dose of Taurine, you will definately tell a difference in your Heart rate, and a bigger reduction in Blood Pressure and Palpitations” He said he only recommended the Taurine at 325mg twice a day with Magnesium due to the fact some people have sedation issues, and aggravated issues with bile and stomach acid overproduction. He said the 600mg of Magnesium and 650mg of Taurine would make a big difference.
He was right, and the cost is way cheaper than finding a Magnesium that already contains Taurine. He recommended Kirkman Labs 325mg Capsules because he said they are a long time manufacturer of supplements, with a good track history, and they do extensive testing on their supplements, testing for 950 different contaminants in every product. Kirkman is not heard of much because they cater more to people who are very sensitive to any fillers, binders, and coatings. Essentially they provide many great supplements for the disabled, for sick children and the elderly. Lower doses, but exceptional quality.
I wanted to share my experience with you and the others who are struggling daily with AFIB. One other thing, my doctor tested me for Vit D and I was at 14.5 having MS I was put on 10,000iu 3 times a week for 3 months, then reduce to 2000iu daily to maintain Vit D levels. He told me Vitamin D3 is a must to take with Magnesium. Thank you for the great website and we are all in this struggle together against AFIB together.
Keep up the good work my friend.
GREAT stuff here! Thanks so much for sharing. This information is going to help a lot of people!
Taurine is definitely a supplement that every afibber should consider. But as you’ve suggested, it may take some experimentation to get just the right dose of it for it to be effective without any adverse side effects.
One supplement Ive been hearing alot about concerning afib is Potassium. I will admit I am ignorant on type, brands and dosages. One poster has claimed that 4000mg, yes, lethal by Pharma standards, has stopped his PACs and episodes within one hour. Would be interested if anyone has some insight on this.
Yes, potassium is very important. My goal is to do an indepth article next month on potassium so stay tuned.
4,000mg isn’t lethal but could be problematic if you have kidney disease.
P.S. Regarding your general question about using potassium to help settle the heart, absolutely it can help!
If you want some extra info from someone who has personally experienced success with this supplement, I would get in touch with Carey from Stopafib site. He has some impressive results that he reports and some great insight on this.
Thanks James! I’ll try to dig up Carey’s info. If you run into him/her, have them contact me!
Excellent article with some extensive information on that miracle supplement Mag. As one who has experimented with great benefits over the last few years with all supplements including Mag, I can relate to much of the info and add some observations for what its worth.
Yes, all mag is not equal, but more importantly, low levels on other minerals in our systems can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of Mag. Vit D as mentioned is one that is instrumental in this. However the suggested level of 40-50 may be fine for a healthy person, but for ones with any condition including afib, its more likely 60-95 to be effective. Potassium is also as critical as Mag with afib. My last 4 episodes last month were preceded by some Mag use along with epsom salt soaks. My recent blood tests showed a higher than normal sodium level. Salt is an afibbers/heart enemy. Many heart meds arent called Sodium blocks for nothing. Sodium depletes Potassium which in turn limits the effectiveness of Mag, raises blood pressure and HR. This is why Potassium levels are increased merely from exercise and drinking water by as much as 20%, the depletion of salt.
If you are taking a good Vit D, make sure to never take alone. D increases calcium absorption but Vit K is a co factor that delivers D to our bones/arteries. I take a good A/D/K once a day. Last level of D was 55.
Testing. Tough one here. None are reliable. Not to contradict Travis, hes correct on which ones are more effective, and expensive, but according to my ND and some, a waste of time and money. Yes, they will give you a correct reading, however, even on the ride home if you are highly stressed by road rage, your Mag levels can drop within 5 min to dangerously low levels and not recover without intervention. That test was correct for that moment, but just that moment. A good guideline? Maybe, but a very expensive one. I use the loose stool test and even then, that can fail due to the fact that even with loose stools, if we are using the wrong Mag, other mineral levels are low etc, we may not retain as we should.
For those ablated its great that you are continuing on supplements like Mag and D due to the fact of any physical change in your system usually creates a greater depletion and a need for these minerals. Thanks
You have to be careful of taking Vit K if you are on anticoagulants.
That only applies if you are taking Warfarin/Coumadin. There are no restrictions with the NOACs.
Thank you again for this wonderful information and support. I learned that my low vitamin D is probably related to my a-fib and fibromyalgia, and I am taking the wrong–completely wrong–type of Magnesium and amount. I’ll see if I can convince my doctor to test (with a good test), but plan to get started by taking a type of Magnesium more suited to my issues.