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Magnesium and Palpitations (PVCs) -- Woman With Heart Palpitations


Magnesium is important for maintaining the electrical stability of the heart and proper heart rhythm. Having low blood levels of magnesium or getting too little magnesium from your diet may increase the risk of having "palpitations," or premature ventricular complexes (PVCs), a type of abnormal heart rhythm that is quite common and typically not life-threatening. [Note: Although PVCs are often considered to be benign, they can be dangerous in some cases, particularly in people with existing heart disease. Always consult your physician if experiencing palpitations for the first time or if you have heart disease.]

The evidence is not clear, however, as to whether taking magnesium supplements can decrease the occurrence of palpitations. Furthermore, ingesting large amounts of magnesium can actually cause irregular heartbeat.

Having low intracellular levels of magnesium has been associated with other types of heart rhythm abnormalities, such as post-operative atrial fibrillation and "torsades de pointes," a type of heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death. However, more research is needed to determine if correcting magnesium levels improves outcomes in people with these types of abnormal heart rhythms.

For more details, see the What It Does section of the Magnesium Supplements Review. Also see a list of foods that are rich in magnesium, and our Top Picks for magnesium supplements.

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May 27, 2020

Taurine supplementation along with magnesium, potassium and fish oil has greatly helped PVCs for me

May 17, 2020

After 12 years taking a diuretic (triamterene/HCTZ) for "Meniere's-like" ear congestion and tinnitus, I developed at age 68 high frequency PVCs. They were deemed benign, but at a burden of around 20% they presented some risk of cardiomyopathy if tolerated long term. After exploring unsuccessfully some medications that usually suppress PVCs (metoprolol and verapamil) I noted that the PVCs were most troubling when serum potassium was low, <3.5 mEq/l. Using supplements of KCl extended release helped but did not resolve the problem completely. Published research pointed to a magnesium deficient diet and intracellular Mg deficiency as a common problem, and further to intracellular magnesium deficiency as the possible underlying culprit even in the low potassium arena. It took six months, but supplementing with Mg-glycinate (400 mg/day) has completely resolved the PVCs. Notably, the serum Mg level held in the normal range throughout this journey, but again published research shows that deep intracellular depletion usually does not show up as a low serum level.

May 17, 2020

I had an interesting experience with magnesium and premature atrial contractions. They started a few weeks after I stopped taking a CoQ-10 supplement. They went away when I resumed the supplement, but then came back even worse. I had my serum magnesium tested, because I take a proton pump inhibitor. My serum magnesium was actually a bit high, but I read that the serum level is a poor indicator of intracellular magnesium concentration. So I started taking a magnesium supplement. Over the next few weeks the premature atrial contractions diminished and then disappeared. They have stayed away for over a year.

May 19, 2020

See the ConsumerTips section of the Magnesium Supplements Review for information about tests that measure magnesium levels https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/magnesium-supplement-review/magnesium/#magnesiumtest.

June 25, 2020

I know a doctor and a PhD who lectures to MDs on nutritional medicine. Both always make a point of saying in their presentations that one must measure intracellular Mg.. The doctor says when he requisitions blood tests, he asks for both. Not because he necessarily wants both, but because if the lab just sees Mg intracellular, they ignore the qualifier and just give him the serum level. This suggests that the majority of doctors still do not understand the importance of this.

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