Feeling depressed? Try magnesium supplements.

There is no denying that magnesium is important for the brain. It is used by the body to combat the effects of stress, which is a major cause of depression. Stress depletes magnesium that is stored in the bones, so increasing your intake of this mineral will have numerous health benefits. Processed foods, diuretics, caffeine and alcohol also decrease magnesium absorption in the body, so if you have signs of depression, avoid these consumables.

Depletion of magnesium reserves can lead to the onset of depression. Your body may not be getting enough magnesium from natural foods in order to work effectively against stress, depression and cellular degeneration. Certain studies have shown that this mineral can be particularly beneficial for people with major depression and other mental ailments.

Elemental magnesium is key

Many studies on magnesium and its benefits for depression have been flawed in that they do not give clinical participants enough magnesium oxide. This substance is about 60% elemental magnesium – the volume of magnesium that the body can actually absorb and use. Magnesium oxide is a stable compound so it does not break down into the two parent elements very easily.

This means that less pure magnesium is absorbed by the body during these studies. Researchers noticed this problem and decided to conduct a study using magnesium chloride, a type of salt that can break down more easily and allow the body to access more magnesium. It has almost 100% bioavailability. This would give researchers more accurate results when studying its effect on depression.

The study on magnesium and depression

This research used 126 patients suffering from depression. During the first stage of the study, all of the patients took magnesium chloride – equal to 248mg of elemental magnesium. Then, a few weeks in, half of the patients stopped taking the compound while the other half continued. The scale to measure the levels of depression in each participant was the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) – a nine-question ‘test’ that is used as primary screening for the presence of depression and its severity.

The average score for these tests at the start of the study was just over 10, which corresponds to moderate depression. The participants that were given magnesium chloride every day for the duration of the study showed a remarkable drop in their PHQ9 scores. The new mean score was six among these participants, which equates to a mild or minimally-depressed diagnosis. Anxiety scores also improved in these patients.

The participants reported fewer muscle cramps, joint pain, headaches and less severe PMS symptoms for the female participants. Two-thirds of patients stated that they would continue taking magnesium supplements after the trial. After the study concluded, those that stopped taking magnesium noted that the positive effects wore off within two weeks.

Magnesium is good for the brain and central nervous system

One of the reasons why magnesium can be used to minimise depression is that it plays a significant role in the central nervous system. It helps to regulate nerve pathways, enzymes, hormones and the neurotransmitters that are responsible for mood. When the synaptic functions of the central nervous system are impeded, depression and anxiety can set in. Magnesium helps to improve the synapses and regulate mood.

Magnesium supplementation is affordable and safe. However, it may interact with certain medications so always consult your doctor before trying magnesium supplements for depression. It is worth trying supplementation for a few weeks to see if you notice any changes in your mood and wellbeing. Try our Mag 2 powder as a delicious daily supplement that contains 250mg of elemental magnesium. Simply add it to food, smoothies or a glass of cold water and get your health back.