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However, many people, including some of the new patients that come to my office, are on low doses of magnesium or take forms of magnesium that are not well-absorbed by the body. Some of the commonly asked questions that patients have about magnesium supplements include:. How does magnesium affect mental health?
Which foods have the most magnesium? What forms of magnesium should I take for anxiety or depression? How much magnesium should I take? What are the side effects of magnesium supplementation? Is it safe? In our first article about magnesium, we explore the connection between magnesium deficiency and anxiety. In addition to anxiety, low magnesium levels have been linked with:. Magnesium plays two important roles in the brain, which may contribute to these symptoms:. It blocks the activity of more stimulating neurotransmitters and binds to calming receptors, resulting in a more peaceful, resting state.
When trying to evaluate our magnesium intake, the first source we should look at is our daily diet. Healthy foods are foundational to raising magnesium levels and other essential minerals, and supplements should never be viewed as a substitute for a nutrient-rich diet. Modern day food cultivation. Biochemical individuality. Factors such as genetics, metabolism, health conditions, and more can influence how much magnesium an individual person needs for healthy functioning.
Those with anxiety, depression and insomnia may need more magnesium than they can feasibly get from their food. There are two main factors to consider when choosing a form of magnesium:. Bioavailabilitywhich indicates how much magnesium can be absorbed by the gut.
Access to the brainas effective forms of magnesium have to be able to cross the protective blood brain barrier surrounding the brain. The two most commonly prescribed forms of magnesium - magnesium oxide and citrate - have the lowest bioavailability of the various forms. This means that they are more likely to pass through the gut and cause loose stools and diarrhea, so they are best used to relieve constipation.
Magnesium salts like carbonate and sulfate have similar issues with absorption. Based on recent studies, there are certain forms of magnesium that have better bioavailability and ability to cross the blood brain better, making them better treatment options for addressing symptoms of anxiety and depression :. Magnesium taurate contains an amino acid called taurinewhich has a calming, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory effect in the brain. Taurine also appears to help the magnesium enter the brain. In addition, it is gentle on the GI tract, making it unlikely to cause loose stool and diarrhea.
In a recent study, magnesium acetyl taurate increased brain magnesium levels more than any other form of magnesium. This form of magnesium has impressive studies backing its use in mental health conditions and has evidence that it can cross the blood brain barrier. However, it can be more expensive and may require taking times more capsules than other magnesium supplements to reach a sufficient therapeutic dose. Glycine is an essential amino acid that has important neurotransmitter functions in the brain. Glycine supplementation can improve the quality of sleepmaking this form of magnesium a good choice for those with insomnia.
Preliminary research shows that magnesium glycinate can elevate levels of magnesium in brain tissue. Like magnesium taurate, the glycinate form is gentle on the GI tract. This is one of the better absorbed forms of magnesium, which increases both serum and muscle levels of magnesium.
Preliminary research shows that it may be effective in treating symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as malate is involved with energy production. Based on current data, magnesium taurate and glycinate have the most research supporting their effects on anxiety and other mental health disorders. Magnesium malate and threonine have also demonstrated therapeutic effects and may be useful in many psychiatric cases. Recent research, along with my clinical experience, indicates that we likely need to use higher doses of magnesium for many psychiatric patients than we ly thought.
Most supplement labels and nutritional organizations recommend taking about mg of magnesium, which is the recommended dietary allowance set by the FDA. However, this is based on the nutritional needs of healthy individuals and does not take biochemical individuality or preexisting mental health conditions into. In our clinic, I have seen psychiatric patients benefit from taking to mg of magnesium per day, and with careful monitoring, have never seen a case of magnesium toxicity.
Stanford recently conducted a study using mg of magnesium threonate in older patients to evaluate its effect on executive functioning and memory. For those wondering how much is too much magnesium, the European Commission found that doses greater than mg could result in toxic hypermagnesaemia i. Anyone taking magnesium supplements past the recommended daily intake or along with other medications should always consult a physician or other medical professional beforehand. Magnesium is generally very safe, and serious side effects and toxicity are both rare.
For most people, the body efficiently handles excess magnesium by eliminating it through the stool, which is why the most common side effect is loose stool or diarrhea. Although it is very rare for magnesium to reach toxic levels, s of toxicity include a fall in blood pressure, lethargy, confusion, heartbeat disturbances, dizziness, muscle weakness, and trouble breathing.
Patients with impaired kidney function are at higher risk for adverse effects of magnesium. Magnesium can also interfere with certain drugs, including various antibiotics and medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. If either of these conditions apply, it's important to check in with your doctor before starting magnesium supplementation. Based on the current data, magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate are two of the better options that may help those with mental health conditions.
Magnesium is best used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan along with a proper diet, stress reduction techniques, and treating the root cause of your symptoms. We hope that this information can help you build a strong foundation for your health journey.
The information and any products mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the relationships with your physician s. Before initiating any conventional or integrative treatments, please first consult with a d medical provider. Please review references cited at the end of article for scientific support of any claims made.
Back DR. How to Take Magnesium for Anxiety or Depression.
Some of the commonly asked questions that patients have about magnesium supplements include: How does magnesium affect mental health? Should I take magnesium supplements for anxiety or depression? There are two main factors to consider when choosing a form of magnesium: Bioavailabilitywhich indicates how much magnesium can be absorbed by the gut. Based on recent studies, there are certain forms of magnesium that have better bioavailability and ability to cross the blood brain better, making them better treatment options for addressing symptoms of anxiety and depression : Magnesium Taurate Magnesium taurate contains an amino acid called taurinewhich has a calming, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory effect in the brain.
Magnesium Threonate This form of magnesium has impressive studies backing its use in mental health conditions and has evidence that it can cross the blood brain barrier. Magnesium Glycinate Glycine is an essential amino acid that has important neurotransmitter functions in the brain. Magnesium Malate This is one of the better absorbed forms of magnesium, which increases both serum and muscle levels of magnesium. How much magnesium should I take for anxiety or depression?
Using the right form and dose of magnesium is like using the right key to open a lock. Meet Dr. Chandra and Her Team. Magnesium Deficiency and Anxiety. How Neurofeedback Can Help Anxiety.Magnesium best time of day to take
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Magnesium Supplements: How Should They Be Taken?