Magnesium Benefits

Magnesium and Depression: The Best Natural Depression Treatment

Did you know that depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, and fatigue are all symptoms of a magnesium deficiency?  Magnesium is one of the four major ions in the human body.  Magnesium along with sodium, potassium and calcium work to regulate hundreds of bodily functions.  Magnesium alone is a key element in more than 300 biochemical reactions that take place in our body.  Magnesium is extremely important.  Lack of the mineral is believed to be a contributing factor in neurotransmitter malfunction that leads to depression and bipolar disorder.

As far back as the 1920s magnesium has been used to successfully (a 90% success rate) treat depression.  As an added bonus for us women, a double blind study in 1991 suggest that magnesium may be one of the major factors associated with PMS symptoms.  95% of women taking a magnesium supplement reported less breast pain and less weight gain.  Not to mention magnesium is proven to fight cramps.  While it is extremely argumentative, less PMS may mean fewer feelings of depression…right?

How Does Magnesium Treat Depression?

One of the many chemical reactions in your body is the release of serotonin.  Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter by relaying messages from one area of the brain to another.  Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced by serotonin either directly or indirectly.  This includes brain cells related to mood, depression, sexual desire and function, sleep, memory, appetite and some social behavior.

Serotonin is dependent on magnesium.  The biochemical reactions necessary for serotonin, which is the brains natural feel good drug, cannot function properly if you are suffering from low magnesium.  To control depression, you must regulate magnesium.

How Can I Increase My Magnesium Levels?

There are three ways you can increase your daily magnesium intake.  The first is by changing what you eat.  You must structure your diet to include as many magnesium rich foods as possible.

The second is by taking a daily magnesium supplement.  Doctors often recommend a daily supplement because most patients are not successful in obtaining the 400 mg of magnesium needed every day through diet alone.

BAD formulas of magnesium include:

GOOD formulas:
Magnesium Taurate (Taurinate)
Citrate (can be laxatative, so take with food)

The third way is to soak in an Epsom salt bath.  Use two cups of Epsom salts in a traditional size bath tub and soak for a least 12 minutes 2-3 times per week.

As always you should consult your doctor before beginning any vitamin supplement program.  Once cleared, I encourage you to research the pros and cons of various magnesium supplements on the market before moving forward.  There are hundreds of magnesium supplements available and the key to successfully controlling depression is choosing the supplement that is right for you.

Typical blood work usually won’t pick up the deficiency:

This following is from an article by an RN:
“If you ever get a serum Mg level drawn and it comes back normal, your physician will happily assure your problems are NOT magnesium deficiency symptoms and that is the end of the investigation into your magnesium status. But magnesium is not IN your blood, it is inside your CELLS! In fact – only 1% of your body’s magnesium is in your bloodstream, making serum magnesium levels near worthless tests that detect only the most severe and dangerous magnesium deficiencies.”

For more information on magnesium check out these links:

George Eby’s research on Magnesium deficiency:
“Depression Treatment: A Cure for Depression using Magnesium?”

Test results showing that 89.7% of people with depression tested were found to be Magnesium deficient:

Magnesium Deficiency can cause:

Magnesium and depression: a systematic review