Anxiety and depression are leading causes of disability worldwide.
There is hope, though. Magnesium is the only natural mineral that has been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and depression. In fact, magnesium can help with a wide range of mental health conditions including anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and more.
This article will discuss the relationship between magnesium and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps with over 300 essential physiological functions in the body. It is required for nerve transmission, blood glucose control, muscle contraction and relaxation, energy metabolism, bone health, protein synthesis, and much more.
Most people must get enough of the mineral, as low levels have been linked to stress. The mineral helps with over 300 different metabolic and physiological functions in the body. In addition to helping with these functions, magnesium also helps regulate insulin and blood glucose levels in the body.
Magnesium Effects on Anxiety & Depression
Magnesium is the only mineral that has been scientifically proven to help with anxiety and depression. In fact, magnesium can help with a wide range of mental health conditions including anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and more.
The mineral works to help with these conditions by:
- Improving serotonin levels in the brain – Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls: appetite, happiness, memory, and sleep. Magnesium helps to regulate serotonin production in the brain. This is important because the body can only use about 30% of its serotonin before it sends the rest down the GI tract for elimination. Magnesium helps move some of this excess serotonin out of the brain for elimination. In addition, magnesium also converts tryptophan (an essential amino acid) into serotonin. Thus, if you are deficient in magnesium, your body will not be able to produce as much serotonin.
- Improving GABA levels – Glutamine is a precursor to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the brain’s primary calming neurotransmitter. Magnesium helps to increase GABA levels in the brain. This has been shown to help with anxiety in several studies.
- Regulating dopamine levels – Dopamine production in the brain is directly affected by magnesium deficiency. Dopamine is responsible for regulating many other neurotransmitters, including Serotonin, Adrenaline, and Oxytocin. Since magnesium helps regulate oxytocin and adrenaline, it also indirectly regulates dopamine production in the brain.
What Studies Have Been Done on Magnesium and Anxiety?
Some of the most extensive studies on magnesium and anxiety have been conducted on animals.
These studies show that supplementing with magnesium can help reduce anxiety. The authors of one study showed that magnesium helped with a wide range of anxiety symptoms in rats. They found that magnesium supplementation reduced: heart rate, locomotion, body temperature, breathing rate, and the rats’ stress responses.
Another study showed that magnesium supplementation helped to reduce anxiety-like behavior and restore normal blood pressure. Yet another found that magnesium helped to reduce anxiety-related behaviors.
What Studies Have Been Done on Magnesium and Depression?
Studies have also found that magnesium helps reduce depressive symptoms in various populations.
One study looked at a group of depressed people with low magnesium levels. The authors found that after magnesium supplementation, “the patients showed a significant decrease in depression scores”.
Another study studied the effects of magnesium supplementation on people who are at risk for developing depression. The authors found that many of the participants reported feeling better after 3 months of ongoing magnesium supplementation. This was proven by an improvement in depression scores, self-reported symptoms, and behavior ratings. This study also found that magnesium had an anti-inflammatory effect.
Magnesium and the Gut – What Causes Magnesium Deficiency?
Magnesium is found in foods throughout the day, and gut bacteria are very efficient in absorbing magnesium.
However, this can be interrupted if there is an injury in the GI tract that damages the gut lining. This is called leaky gut syndrome.
The damaged lining allows toxins to enter the body, which can cause symptoms of magnesium deficiency. When this happens, magnesium may not be absorbed from food as well as it would normally be absorbed. This is one of many reasons why many people are deficient in magnesium because of their digestive system.
Magnesium Deficiency and Anxiety – Are There Ways to Increase Magnesium Intake?
Since the elderly often have problems absorbing magnesium from food, it is recommended that they get increased amounts of magnesium through supplementation. However, getting enough magnesium can be difficult for everyone. This is because many people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, plant foods such as bananas, dates, figs, and papayas have much lower levels of magnesium than animal foods like meat. In fact: “it may be easier to get more magnesium from a more high-magnesium dairy than a high-magnesium plant”. Most fruits are also much lower in magnesium than leafy greens or broccoli.
Magnesium is found in a few foods that most people eat regularly. These include fish, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Unfortunately, studies show that Americans don’t eat enough of these foods to have adequate magnesium levels. Additionally, many people are also deficient in other important minerals like calcium and zinc. This can lead to further problems like chronic inflammation and adrenal fatigue.
One way to get more magnesium is to: “eat more whole grains, nuts, and green leafy vegetables”. This is because when people eat a diet rich in whole grains and nuts, they tend to eat many more fruits and vegetables. Even better will be to have your food naturally fortified with magnesium. After all, the best way to get the most out of a supplement is when you can get all of the vitamins/minerals and other nutrients that it contains.
The research shows that magnesium is very important for anxiety and stress, depression, and mood.
Additionally, it is also important to be getting enough other nutrients like calcium, zinc, Vitamin D3, and B vitamins. Your body will need all of these nutrients for a healthy nervous system and to balance your stress hormones. It has been found that the average person needs around 400mg of magnesium per day to stay healthy.
Magnesium is a cation that helps to balance sodium levels and assist with cellular energy production. Magnesium is required for the functioning of almost three hundred different enzymes in the body. Additionally, it plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and heart function.
For all of these reasons, it is important to have adequate levels of magnesium in your body. Taking a Magnesium supplement is necessary for many reasons.
Is Magnesium the Key?
Magnesium doesn’t just help with anxiety or depression or overall health. It also plays a major role in brain function.
Magnesium is especially important in regulating sleep, mood, and memory. As long as you don’t have extreme stress, it takes time to get the benefits of magnesium. However, what about magnesium deficiency? Magnesium deficiency can make anxiety and depression worse because it can cause problems with brain chemistry.
In order to understand if magnesium is the key, we need to look at a few studies that investigate the correlation between low magnesium levels and depression:
- First, we will look at a study that investigated the relationship between magnesium levels and impulsive behavior. This study was conducted with over 2,000 men and women from the general population in Peru. This study found that there was a positive correlation between magnesium levels and impulsive behavior.
- After looking at this study we decided to look at another study on the correlation between magnesium and depression.
- The second study was conducted by researchers from the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Italy. This study looked at 4,529 people during a 5-year period. The results of this second study showed that low serum magnesium levels were associated with an increased likelihood of developing depressive symptoms over time.
These studies were conducted on people who did not have a chronic magnesium deficiency, however, they show us that low levels of magnesium are associated with depression. Therefore, it can be concluded that having adequate levels of magnesium in the body may help to reduce the chances of depression developing.
The signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency are many and varied. They can include anxiety, lethargy, sleep problems, muscle tension, and irritability. Taking a supplement like Magnesium is a simple way to get more magnesium in your diet because you will be able to ensure you’re getting enough with each dosage. You will also get the benefit of a supplement that is designed to be micro-fine for maximum absorption. For people who can’t tolerate the taste or texture of magnesium supplements, this is another great reason to take Magnesium.
There are many reasons why you should add Magnesium to your daily routine.
In addition to giving you more energy and a better mood, Magnesium can help to reduce anxiety and depression. If you’re taking a lot of things like vitamin B6, calcium, iron, or zinc, it’s important to take them alongside magnesium. They need magnesium to work properly.
For these reasons and more it is important to have adequate levels of magnesium in your body. Taking a supplement like Magnesium is one of the best ways for you to get more magnesium in your diet.