Antidepressant drugs are not always effective and some have been accused of causing an increased number of suicides particularly in young people. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants, known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) act by allowing the brain neurotransmitter serotonin to remain active in the brain longer. However, it is common for patients to cycle through different kinds of SSRIs for years before finding any relief.
Magnesium has long been known to be extremely important for athletic performance, and now a new study highlights an additional benefit of magnesium; it’s a cheap and effective way to quickly treat depression and anxiety.
If you are deficient in magnesium (as most people are) your body is forced to prioritize where this important resource gets spent. Previous studies have shown that magnesium deficiency contributes to depression and that magnesium supplementation rapidly improves depressive symptoms.
Magnesium ions regulate calcium ion flow in neuronal calcium channels, helping to regulate neuronal nitric oxide production, among other things.
The new study out of the University of Vermont’s Clinical Research Center was one of the first randomized clinical trials to study the effects of supplementing with magnesium to treat depression.
The trial followed 126 adult patients with mild to moderate symptoms of depression. Half received 500 mg of magnesium chloride 4 times per day over six weeks while the control group did not receive anything. Their depressive symptoms were assessed at baseline and then again every two weeks during the trial. The researchers found that the group supplementing with magnesium experienced significantly reduced symptoms of depression within 2 weeks and throughout the rest of the trial regardless of age, sex, co-treatments, or severity of depressive symptoms. As a bit of a side note, they did find that the benefits diminished somewhat after two weeks of stopping magnesium, showing that this important mineral also clears out of the system just as rapidly.
In addition to reduced depressive symptoms, the test group also stated additional side benefits (magnesium is involved in a lot of biological processes after all) such as:
- Decreased symptoms of anxiety
- Decreased number of headaches and muscle cramps
- Increased energy levels (it is a performance booster)
- Improved mood
- Reduced constipation
As mentioned, magnesium is a supplement that the majority of people could benefit from.
It is at the center of the chlorophyll molecule, meaning the easiest way to get an adequate amount is to eat lots of dark leafy greens.
However, even if you eat your greens, our soil now contains much lower amounts of magnesium than it once did, meaning these vegetables themselves are low in the mineral. Magnesium has also been removed from the majority of drinking water, making this mineral hard to come by.
A final tip
If you have trouble falling asleep, and/or constantly wake up feeling tired, supplementing magnesium before bed can improve this. It helps to relax the body and mind and aids in recovery. Magnesium CALM is a great option.
Previous studies- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950577
Magnesium Calm- http://naturalcalm.ca/