Up to 75% of FMers suffer from Mitral Valve Syndrome (MVP)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AJME, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. AJME

    AJME New Member

    Dear All,

    A couple of excerpts from article....article below that..

    "Up to 75% of the people with fibromyalgia have the disorder."

    "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."

    Mitral Valve Prolapse
    What Causes It?
    Can Diet Changes Help?

    Hyaluronic Acid as a Clue

    Mitral Valve Prolapse: The Links to Magnesium Deficiency
    Mitral Valve Prolapse and Hyaluronic Acid
    MVP, Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronidase
    Mitral Valve Prolapse: Is Magnesium a Cure?

    Read my disclaimer and terms of use.

    For specific diet tips for MVP, see my section on Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome: Symptoms and Dietary Treatment


    Mitral valve prolapse is a common condition occurring in approximately 4 - 18% of the population. It is defined as an abnormality of the mitral valves of the heart in which one or both mitral valve flaps close incompletely, often producing either a click or murmur. Conditions linked to MVP include magnesium deficiencies, increased catecholamine productions, anxiety attacks, depression, migraines, allergies and asthma.

    Interesting facts about the disorder include:

    Some people, women especially, have what is known as MVP syndrome. Besides mitral valve prolapse, the symptoms of this syndrome include hypermobility, flat feet, pectus excavatum, scoliosis, low body weight, anxiety attacks and irritable bowel syndrome.

    MVP is linked to a variety of genetic disorders including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, Stickler syndrome and Marfan syndrome. Approximately 75% of the people with Marfan syndrome have MVP. Some researchers think mitral valve prolapse syndrome is a mild form of a connective tissue disorder, similar to Marfan syndrome.

    People with Down syndrome also often have mitral valve prolapse.

    Even in people without the entire MVP syndrome, isolated mitral valve prolapse is still linked to:

    pectus excavatum
    Up to 75% of the people with fibromyalgia have the disorder.

    MVP can occur as a result of rheumatic fever.

    So how do these findings all fit together? Quite logically, actually. The associations above leave us with a lot of interesting clues to what causes MVP. If you look at the studies on PubMed surrounding mitral valve prolapse, with an eye for the big picture, there may be some perfectly logical reasons for all of these factors, as explained below. These clues all fit together like pieces from a puzzle. You just have to think about them logically, do a little research and put the pieces in order to see how they all interrelate.

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    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, and supplementation of this ion 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.

    Here are a couple of full text articles on MVP and magnesium:

    Mitral Valve Prolapse: Can Magnesium Help? - "A great deal of evidence suggests that the symptoms associated with mitral valve prolapse are frequently caused by a long-standing magnesium shortage in the heart."
    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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    If you need a good book for scoliosis, neck or back pain, common conditions in people with MVP, I recommend the book:Back Care Basics : A Doctor's Gentle Program for Back and Neck Pain Relief .

    My review of this book and others I found helpful for my scoliosis are in my section on Scoliosis, Exercises, Books and Tips.


    Some of the medical web sites I've looked at say that most people with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms. This seems to be commonly believed, yet it is not supported by actual studies. If you scan the studies actually done on MVP, there are a wide variety of symptoms commonly associated with the disorder.

    Mitral valve prolapse frequently occurs in association with the following conditions in the table below. Interestingly, most of these conditions have also been linked to magnesium deficiencies, providing a clue that a magnesium deficiency may be a common factor among the disorders. Studies linking these conditions that occur along with MVP to magnesium deficiency are also listed below:

    Conditions Linked to

    Mitral Valve Prolapse

    Conditions Linked to

    Magnesium Deficiency


    Anxiety disorders

    Anxiety disorders
    Excess catecholamines

    Excess catecholamines



    Myopia (nearsightedness)



    Pectus excavatum
    Scoliosis, hypermobility and pectus excavatum are all features of rickets, which in some cases are magnesium dependent. (Vitamin D needs magnesium to function properly.)

    Depression Depression

    A root cause of a magnesium deficiency could easily be one of the reasons the above symptoms (and many others not listed) commonly occur together and occur along with MVP. (See my section on magnesium for more on this subject.)

    Many of the web sites and articles I've looked at state that a magnesium deficiency is a symptom of mitral valve prolapse. I don't think the evidence supports this statement. As the rest of this web site will continue to explain, there is more evidence and logic supporting the theory that mitral valve prolapse is likely to be a symptom of a magnesium deficiency.

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    Mitral Valve Prolapse and Hyaluronic Acid
    One interesting fact about MVP is that the heart valves in humans with the condition show abnormalities of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of connective tissue that occurs in high amounts in places like the eyes, hearts and joints. What's really interesting is that hyaluronic acid is dependent on a variety of nutrients for its synthesis, and one of these nutrients is magnesium. A reduction in the availability of magnesium has a negative impact on hyaluronic acid production.

    So a lack of magnesium impacting hyaluronic acid synthesis, would provide a logical explanation of why:

    Heart valves in MVP show hyaluronic acid abnormalities. The heart valves probably become defective when the body does not have sufficient magnesium to produce hyaluronic acid. With degraded hyaluronic acid, the valve stretches out and functions suboptimally.
    Magnesium supplementation often aids in the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse. It's probably because more magnesium makes it easier for the body to make hyaluronic acid which makes for better functioning heart valves.
    People with Down syndrome commonly have mitral valve prolapse. They also tend to have hyaluronic acid abnormalities, as well as deficiencies of magnesium. People with Down syndrome are also usually low in zinc, another nutrient that impacts hyaluronic acid.
    People with MVP are usually hypermobile. It may be, at least in part, because they have abnormalities of hyaluronic acid, which can cause their connective tissue to weaken and stretch out.
    People with Marfan syndrome have both mitral valve prolapse and hyaluronic acid abnormalities.
    People with fibromyalgia also tend to have mitral valve prolapse. Up to 75% of the people with fibromyalgia have the condition. Interestingly, like people with Down syndrome, they also have hyaluronic acid abnormalities and tend to be low in magnesium.
    Hyaluronic acid has been nicknamed by the press as the "key to the fountain of youth" because it has been noted that at least some people who ingest a lot of it in their diets tend to live to ripe old ages. ABC News had a show on hyaluronic acid entitled, "The Village of Long Life: Could Hyaluronic Acid Be an Anti-Aging Remedy?". While it may make for a good TV show, I doubt that the answer to long life is as simple as just hyaluronic acid.

    It is interesting to note, however, that hyaluronic acid abnormalities are a key feature of many of the premature aging syndromes, indicating that they may well be a factor in the disorders. People with Down syndrome, who, as noted above, usually have have hyaluronic acid abnormalities, also tend to be afflicted with both premature aging syndromes and mitral valve prolapse. It would be highly logical to consider the possibility that defective hyaluronic acid is the common cause as to why people with Down syndrome develop both conditions and that their low levels of magnesium and zinc are causative factors in their hyaluronic acid abnormalities.

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    MVP, Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronidase
    People often develop mitral valve prolapse and other heart ailments after contracting rheumatic fever. It may be in part because the bacteria that cause rheumatic fever emit an enzyme called hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase breaks down hyaluronic acid. By dissolving the associations between the hyaluronic acid cells in connective tissue, bacteria can move through tissues that would otherwise pose a barrier to the spread of the organism. So if bacteria enter the body by breaking down hyaluronic acid in heart valves, then that would provide a logical explanation of why the valves then become defective.

    The herb echinacea is said to be helpful in combating cold and viruses, in part because it inhibits the activity of the enzyme hyaluronidase. This anti-hyaluronidase action is involved in regeneration of connective tissue destroyed during infection and in the elimination of pathogenic organisms creating the infection.

    A lack of hyaluronic acid would provide a logical explanation why people with connective tissue disorders not only have many symptoms linked to defective connective tissue, such as lax joints and stretched out heart valves, but also why they tend to have a high rate of bacterial and viral infections. It would also explain why symptoms of MVP often appear or increase after a viral illness. If a person's hyaluronic acid is less than robust, perhaps this make it easier for bacteria to break through their protective hyaluronic acid barrier.

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    Mitral Valve Prolapse: Is Magnesium a Cure?
    Many people with mitral valve prolapse respond to magnesium treatment, but some do not. However, this doesn't mean magnesium isn't a factor in MVP, it just means there may be more than one factor involved in the disorder. Hyaluronic acid depends upon other nutrients, too, like zinc, and there are other factors that degrade hyaluronic acid besides hyaluronidase, such as cigarette smoke. Since there are multiple causes of hyaluronic acid abnormalities, in turn it would be logical to expect there to be multiple causes of mitral valve prolapse. (See my sections on zinc and hyaluronic acid for more on this topic.)

    Another reason magnesium supplements may not always work is that magnesium supplements are very alkaline and can neutralize the hydrochloric acid in one's stomach. Nutritionist Adelle Davis noted that magnesium supplements should not be taken by people with digestive problems for this reason. Because it is so alkaline, magnesium is a key ingredient in a lot of antacids. It's even used to relieve constipation, as in the Milk of Magnesia laxative.

    So for people who are not getting enough magnesium because they have digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, it would make sense that magnesium supplements may actually do them more more harm than good. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome has been linked to mitral valve prolapse, so it would pay to be cautious with magnesium supplements if you have MVP.

    I do get a lot of mail from people who have taken magnesium supplements for MVP and found it helpful, so for many people they do work. For people like me, I've found it is much better to try to get enough magnesium just through my regular diet than taking the supplements, which just upset my stomach.

    See my section on Finding a Nutrition Oriented Physician for more information on nutrition oriented doctors and labs that do cellular (the most sensitive type) of magnesium deficiency testing.

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    If we put all of the clues together about mitral valve prolapse, then there are some highly logical ways in which the data fit together. In the chart in my next section, Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome: Symptoms and Diet Treatments, I've assembled information gathered from a variety of different studies on PubMed and put them all together into a logical scenario. It is probably a highly simplified version compared to reality, however, it does provide logical explanations for many of the features we know about MVP.

    If the root cause of mitral valve prolapse was in fact degraded hyaluronic acid and/or an excess of hyaluronidase, an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid, then everything we know about the disorder would make sense. It would explain why mitral valve prolapse is commonly, but not always, linked to magnesium deficiencies, why MVP occurs as a result of rheumatic fever and why people with disorders like Down syndrome, Marfan syndrome and/or fibromyalgia often have both mitral valve prolapse and hyaluronic acid abnormalities, too. I don't think there is anything we know about mitral valve prolapse and its associations that doesn't fit in with this model, thus providing a pretty good clue that is on the right track, and that hyaluronic acid is indeed most likely a significant factor in mitral valve prolapse.

    For specific diet tips that helped me, see my next section, Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome: Symptoms and Dietary Treatment


    For a list of books that helped my connective tissue disorder symptoms, including my fibromyalgia, TMJ, MVP and scoliosis, please see my recommended book list.

    Visit my connective tissue disorder home page or my site map to use my search feature, and see information on connective tissue disorders and related features.

    For a good support site see mvpsupport.com. Share experiences with other people with MVP

    Topics of special interest may include my sections on:

    Exercises, Books and Tips for Scoliosis

    Marfan Syndrome



    Hyaluronic acid


    Inherited Connective Tissue Disorders - The Links to Nutrition

  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Hi AJME, will print out your article. It is great. I am a big believer in Magnseium, it has almost single handily given me a life again!

    Thanks again.

    Shalom, Shirl
    [This Message was Edited on 12/21/2002]
  3. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    Gary and I are lucky we don't. Now, to convince our 19 year old to take his Mag. regularly. He just doesn't seem to get it but, we hope this art. will get him to see the light.

    Take care, Kim and Gary
  4. Jaysea

    Jaysea New Member

    Great articles ! My sister has MVP and FM too. I'll pass your post on to her.
  5. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    I have MVP and quite a few of the other listed associated things: anxiety attacks, migraines, allergies and asthma.
    I don't get the migraines nearly as often as I used to though, and take paxil for the anxiety/panic attacks and am on preventive meds for my asthma. I take calcium/magnesium/zinc, and potassium supplements, as well as vitamins E, C and Bcomplex. Thanks for sharing this, it's very interesting.
  6. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    I have flat feet in addition to FBS and the expected IBS and anxiety. I've only had one doctor in my almost 50 years tell me that I had mitral valve prolapse. All doctor's that I've seen since then (1982) haven't diagnosed it & told me that I don't have it. Thanks for the article. dolsgirl
  7. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    My hubby (who does not have FMS or CFS) and I both have MVPS = Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome. We both have several of the other conditions listed here.
    I am taking magnesium (340 mgs.) at bedtime and he was taking ZMA until it switched around on him and started keeping him awake. I will now put him on straight Magnesium too after reading how important it is to us.
    We have both gotten some benefit from COQ10 as well.
  8. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Wow!After reading this article,I wonder if I have MVP along with my FM? I say this b/c I have a heart murmer....but I was never told why or from what,and it was never investigated either. Great reading,Thanks1
  9. Madelyn

    Madelyn New Member

    I was misdiagnosed for several years with MVP. I wonder how many are likewise misdiagnosed because of the similar sympyoms?