Can Magnesium Help Combat Depression?

Posted by Jon Salinger on

Many people are affected by depression at some point in their lives, but treatments for this mental health condition are not always effective. Patients are often prescribed antidepressant medications that can have a variety of adverse side effects and it can take some time to get the dosage right before being able to feel better.

However, something far more natural could help those suffering from depression more than synthetic antidepressants. Indeed, scientists have suggested that magnesium supplements could have a positive impact in boosting moods.

An article in Green Med Info looked at various studies regarding the role of magnesium in depression and found one report showing that mice with low levels of the mineral exhibited enhanced depressive and anxious behaviour, such as increased immobility in a swim test.

Looking at the relationship between magnesium and human emotion, it stated: “Dietary magnesium deficiency in conjunction with stress can lead to neuropathologies and symptoms of psychiatric disorders.”

Some scientists also believe it can contribute to anxiety, irritably, confusion, sleeplessness, headaches, delirium, asthenia, and hyper-excitability.

According to the Hordaland Health Study by FN Jacka in Western Norway, there was an inverse link between those with low magnesium levels and high rates of depression.

Therefore, it seems logical that increasing magnesium levels could be an effective means for controlling depressive thoughts.

A trial by EK Tarleton in 2017 looked at 126 adults with depression at outpatient primary care clinics. They were given 248 mg of elemental magnesium chloride per day over six weeks, and researchers then looked at changes in their mental health symptoms.

The article stated: “Magnesium administration results in clinically significant improvements in scores on both the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a validated measure of the severity of depression and response to treatment, as well as the Generalised Anxiety Disorders-7 (GAD-7), a sensitive self-reported screening tool for severity of anxiety disorders.”

According to the study, there was a change in symptoms in just two weeks, with benefits being experienced regardless of gender, age, severity of depression, or baseline magnesium level of patients.

The authors of the ‘Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLoS One, 12(6)’ stated: “Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”

These findings could help a huge number of people, as MIND has revealed that as many as a quarter of Brits experience a mental health problem every year. It also stated that one in six people in England report a common mental health problem, like anxiety or depression, every week.

Recent findings from NHS Digital published in the BBC also showed the problem is getting worse, with one in five women in England reporting they have had a mental health condition in the past, while one in eight men admitted to having had one too.

However, suicide remains the biggest killer among men up to the age of 49, accounting for three-quarters of the 6,000 suicides that occur every year.

This week marks Mental Health Week, with the NHS reminding individuals to look after themselves as ‘Every Mind Matters’.

Start by improving your health with supplements like magnesium. You can find a wide range of antioxidant vitamins here.

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