A Pilot Randomized Trial of Oral Magnesium Supplementation on Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Nutrients. 2018 Jul 10;10(7):884. doi: 10.3390/nu10070884.


Low magnesium may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation. We conducted a double-blind pilot randomized trial to assess adherence to oral magnesium supplementation (400 mg of magnesium oxide daily) and a matching placebo, estimate the effect on circulating magnesium concentrations, and evaluate the feasibility of using an ambulatory heart rhythm monitoring device (ZioPatch) for assessing premature atrial contractions. A total of 59 participants were randomized; 73% were women, and the mean age was 62 years. A total of 98% of the participants completed the follow-up. In the magnesium supplement group, 75% of pills were taken, and in the placebo group, 83% were taken. The change in magnesium concentrations was significantly greater for those given the magnesium supplements than for those given the placebo (0.07; 95% confidence interval: 0.03, 0.12 mEq/L; p = 0.002). The ZioPatch wear time was approximately 13 of the requested 14 days at baseline and follow-up. There was no difference by intervention assignment in the change in log premature atrial contractions burden, glucose, or blood pressure. Gastrointestinal changes were more common among the participants assigned magnesium (50%) than among those assigned the placebo (7%), but only one person discontinued participation. In sum, compliance with the oral magnesium supplementation was very good, and acceptance of the ZioPatch monitoring was excellent. These findings support the feasibility of a larger trial for atrial fibrillation (AF) prevention with oral magnesium supplementation.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; glucose; magnesium; randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / adverse effects
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / diagnosis
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / physiopathology
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Magnesium Oxide / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota
  • Pilot Projects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Time Factors
  • Transducers
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Magnesium Oxide