It appears that the cure for depression is closer to us than ever. Namely, 248mg of magnesium daily is found to reverse the symptoms of depression even more effective than taking antidepressant drugs. Plus, it is affordable and safe.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in our body. When we experience stress, the magnesium levels go down, and since magnesium is one of the vital minerals for our brain to function properly, several studies studied the influence of magnesium to our brain and how it relates to depression.
The 2017 study included 126 mild-to-moderate depressed participants. Some of them were on therapy, some on medication, others in neither. Researchers were giving half the participants magnesium chloride in the first few weeks, while in the second phase of the study, half of the participants continued to take the supplement while the other half was switched off magnesium.
Participants were given 248mg of magnesium per day for a period of 6 weeks. They found that moderately depressed participants become mild or minimally depressed. Their anxiety was also reduced as well as aches, pains, headaches, constipation, and muscle cramps.
It is also important to note that:
Although the association between magnesium and depression is well documented, the mechanism is unknown. However, magnesium plays a role in many of the pathways, enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation.
It is a calcium antagonist and voltage-dependent blocker of the N-methyl-D-aspartate channel which regulates the flow of calcium into the neuron. In low magnesium states, high levels of calcium and glutamate may deregulate synaptic function, resulting in depression.
Depression and magnesium are also associated with systemic inflammation. The finding that those participants taking an SSRI experienced an even greater positive effect points toward magnesium’s possible role in augmenting the effect of antidepressants.
So, it is safe to try magnesium for a few weeks and see if you will feel better. If you don’t prefer the supplement, then you can always add more seeds, nuts, and dark chocolate to your diet.