Magnesium is already known by many as a tremendous booster of health. It contributes to sound sleep, helps with digestion and constipation, relieves muscle aches, and even improves heart health and migraine headaches – but here’s a shocker: in small doses it leads to an astonishing reversal of depression.
What is Magnesium and Why Do We Need it?
Magnesium is one of the most important elements in the human body. It is a micronutrient and mineral that is involved in thousands of biochemical processes crucial for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular, alimentary, endocrine, and osteoarticular systems, but oddly, it seems absolutely vital to regulating our mood and levels of happiness.
In a breakthrough study conducted by researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in PLoS ONE has found that just 248mg of it per day leads to an about-face of depression symptoms in study subjects.
“New clinical research results show magnesium is effective at addressing symptoms and is safer and easier on the wallet than prescription therapies,” reports Science Daily.
Mounds of Research Proving We Need Magnesium to Combat Depression
Research of this kind regarding magnesium isn’t new, but it stands to reinforce what nutritionists, health coaches, and even some psychologists have been stating for decades.
Another study states this about magnesium and depression:
“Anxiety related conditions are the most common affective disorders present in the general population with a lifetime prevalence of over 15%. Magnesium (Mg) status is associated with subjective anxiety, leading to the proposition that Mg supplementation may attenuate anxiety symptoms.”
And this study explains that:
“After adjusting for all potential confounders, the strength of the association of very low magnesium intake with depression was statistically significant (RR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.06-1.30).”
Or how about this study which states that the daily consumption of 500 mg magnesium:
“. . . tablets for ≥8 wk by depressed patients suffering from magnesium deficiency leads to improvements in depression status and magnesium levels.”
So, while not all the studies agree on the exact amount of magnesium that we need each day to combat depression, they repeat over and over in hundreds of additional studies, that depleted magnesium levels contribute to depression.
Why We’re All Magnesium Deficient
Why are so many of us magnesium deficient, aside from the fact that many vital micronutrients and minerals we need have been raped from the soil via industrial farming practices, and by adding non-organic, toxic chemical fertilizers and herbicides to the very soil which must grow our food?
Too Much Sugar
Refined sugar causes you to waste most vitamin and minerals in the body, mainly B-Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Manganese. Sugar raises CO2 levels in the blood, which causes you to go to bicarbonate stores which buffer it, causing a depletion of minerals like magnesium.
Another culprit is stress – both mental and physical stress, with its related continuous flow of adrenaline, uses up our magnesium stores rapidly. Adrenaline affects heart rate, blood pressure, vascular constriction and muscle contraction— actions that all demand steady supplies of magnesium for smooth function, and without it you can guess what happens.
We also require magnesium to create serotonin, one of the “happy hormones” which prevents depression. Stress causes less serotonin to be created, and replaces it with cortisol and other stress hormones. Stress and depression are inextricably linked. Without enough magnesium we haven’t got a chance at fighting depression naturally.
Magnesium is a powerful detoxifier. It removes everything from heavy metals, to glyphosate and other herbicides from our bodies, as well as thousands of environmental toxins and metabolic toxins. If we become overly toxic, due to a lack of magnesium, we are more likely be depressed as the brain suffers from inflammation it cannot overcome.
Is it any wonder we suffer from the following additional diseases, aside from depression, all of which are linked to magnesium deficiency?
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Prolonged diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, surgical removal of a portion of the intestine, and intestinal inflammation due to radiation may all lead to magnesium depletion.
- Renal disorders: Diabetes mellitus and long-term use of certain diuretics (see Drug interactions) may result in increased urinary loss of magnesium. Multiple other medications can also result in renal magnesium wasting.
- Chronic alcoholism: Poor dietary intake, gastrointestinal problems, and increased urinary loss of magnesium may all contribute to magnesium depletion, which is frequently encountered in alcoholics.
- Age: Several studies have found that elderly people have relatively low dietary intakes of magnesium. Intestinal absorption tends to decrease with age and urinary excretion tends to increase with age; thus, suboptimal dietary magnesium intake may increase the risk of depletion in the elderly.
How Much Do I Need And Where Can I Get It?
So how much magnesium should you take? General dosage recommendations range from about 3 to 10 milligrams per pound of body weight. Experiment with a supplement and you’ll know exactly how much you need.
You can also consume natural sources of it which can be found in foods like:
- Greek Yogurt
- Black Beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Yogurt or Kefir
- Dark Chocolate
- Goat Cheese
Also, it is the central molecule in chlorophyll – called the “lamp of life,” so any plant-based food high in chlorophyll should also help boost magnesium stores in the body to fight depression, along with dozens of other diseases.
About The Author:
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and *See the Big Picture*. Her blog is Yoga for the New World . Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing The Body And Mind Through The Art Of Yoga.
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