Carrie Fisher’s fatal cardiac arrest was likely caused by a common mineral deficiency.
That’s the belief of one of the nation’s top medical researchers, Dr. George Lundberg. He says the sudden death of the Star Wars actress shows the classic signs of low magnesium.
Dr. Lundberg was editor in chief of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association for 30 years. He is now a consulting professor at Stanford University.
Fisher, 60, died tragically on Dec. 27 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest while aboard an airline flight.1
Dr. Lundberg says Fisher’s death looks like a textbook case of magnesium deficiency.2
“Low serum magnesium level is associated with increased likelihood of coronary artery heart disease and sudden cardiac death,” he wrote in an article published in the journal Medscape Internal Medicine.
A magnesium shortage can destroy heart rhythm without warning, as apparently happened to Fisher. “It has long been known that low magnesium levels can trigger a range of cardiac rhythm abnormalities, including some that are potentially lethal,” said Dr. Lundberg.
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It’s impossible to know exactly how many people die because they are low in magnesium. But Dr. Lundberg notes “sudden unexpected, unattended death is probably the most common mode of death in the United States, with an annual estimated incidence of 300,000-400,000.
“This is a huge number… Wake up, people!”
Magnesium deficiency is not only deadly, it’s common. Almost half of Americans do not get the recommended 300-400 mg of daily magnesium in their diet.
Mineral That Keeps Your Heart Ticking
Dr. Lundberg says doctors don’t take magnesium deficiency seriously. Few test their patients for the mineral. Even after someone dies of cardiac arrest, postmortems don’t check for lack of magnesium. “I will assure you that an assessment of total magnesium stores will not have been done” in Fisher’s case, he says.
Magnesium deficiency produces so many physiological malfunctions that Dr. Lundberg calls it “the emperor of all maladies.”
Not only does magnesium keep your heart rhythm steady, it:
- Prevents atherosclerosis
- Keeps blood pressure under control
- Helps your body use calcium to keep your bones strong
- Supports the nervous system to prevent depression and ease stress
- Helps your body produce melatonin so you can relax and sleep
- Controls glucose levels and prevents diabetes
- Lowers colon cancer risk
Why don’t Americans get enough magnesium?
Drugs such as diuretics and proton pump inhibitors—like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid—increase magnesium excretion. Refining or processing strips 85% of the magnesium from foods. Cooking food by boiling it also removes the mineral.3
These Foods Are Packed with Magnesium
Green leafy vegetables like spinach are loaded with magnesium. So are avocados, almonds, pecans, pistachios, figs, apricots, dark chocolate, wild-caught shrimp, crab, and most meats. Opt for organic versions whenever possible. And avoid boiling foods to preserve the magnesium.
You can also ensure you get enough magnesium by taking a quality supplement. Look for versions that offer magnesium citrate or magnesium taurate. They are more easily absorbed than other forms. Take 400 mg a day.4
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