Can Magnesium Help With Depression?
We already know that magnesium can help with anxiety, but can it do the same for depression? The first study on magnesium’s efficacy in fighting depression came out nearly 100 years ago, in 1921. It showed that magnesium (Mg) has succeeded in improving agitated depression in 220 out of the tested 250 patients. More recent studies within the past decade have shown Mg may even be just as effective as the common tricyclic antidepressant Imipramine, often sold under the name Tofranil. Read on to see how and why it helps so much.
What Is Depression?
Major depression is a mental health disorder characterized by chronic depressed mood, lack of energy, reduced appetite, weight fluctuations, sleep disturbances, and varying emotional reactivity with regards to social challenges and day-to-day stressors. Guilt and sadness are also common factors, which may lead to self-destructive behaviors. 15% of all non-communicable illnesses are depression-related, and the leading cause of all disability. Moreover, 60% of major depression cases are considered TRD: treatment-resistant depression. This means there are thousands — if not millions — of people suffering from depression that simply does not get better with traditional methods like SSRIs or psychological interventions.
What Is Magnesium’s Role in the Body?
Magnesium is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions, and it’s no surprise that mental functioning can be impacted by its absence. Magnesium deficiency causes N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-coupled calcium channels to be biased towards opening. Without efficacy in control and closing, these channels can cause injury in neurons and neurological dysfunction when left open for extended periods of time.
How Magnesium Can Help With Depression
Unfortunately, magnesium has been removed from processed foods and is less likely to be found in fortified foods like refined grains in the Western world. Luckily, recent studies have put the focus back on Mg. Animal studies have shown magnesium to produce antidepressant-like effects, and a few human-subject studies have shown the potential for Mg to reduce symptoms of depression in adults with mild-to-moderate depression.
Magnesium Stabilizes Mood
Magnesium is an ion that can help stabilize mood by regulating cortisol levels, preventing excess cortisol production, and calming the nervous system. This, in turn, reduces the strength and impact of stress on the body. Mg also impacts sexual hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and more, balancing them.
Between these two avenues of hormonal control, magnesium is capable of regulating the “fight-or-flight” response of the autonomic nervous system. Magnesium makes this response easier to handle and helps with those experiencing chronic stress, which is closely tied to depression. Additionally, serotonin is a brain chemical needed to improve energy, emotions, and cognitive function, and Mg is necessary for serotonin to function.
Magnesium Assists in Thyroid Hormone Production
The thyroid is a vital hormonal gland that regulates body functions, including energy expenditure. Because depression can be associated with decreased energy, an under-active thyroid can contribute to symptoms of depression. Mg helps create thyroid hormones and offers protective benefits to the thyroid due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Magnesium Regulates Insulin
Similar to the thyroidal impact, magnesium also controls insulin production. Insulin regulates cellular energy and is essential for overall functioning as well as transporting glucose to insulin-dependent portions of the body. Magnesium’s presence reduces sugar cravings and balances blood sugar, especially helping those with depression to control energy levels and obtain energy in healthy forms.
Magnesium Improves Sleep
Depression is notorious for affecting sleep, causing insomnia or excessive sleep. Mg maintains healthy GABA, and GABA promotes sleep by inhibiting the central nervous system. Through this effect, magnesium helps people fall asleep and obtain deeper, more restorative sleep.
Magnesium Increases Energy
ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the molecule the body uses for energy. For ATP and the body processes that rely on it to be active, the ATP molecules must team up with magnesium. When supplemented with magnesium, those with depression are able to more easily tap into energy stores and increase metabolic processes.
Boost Your Brain With MZM
MZM’s cutting-edge formula contains magnesium, as well as zinc and MSM. Together, these essential minerals and molecules improve how you function, inside and out. Shop our recovery lotion online today, and see what a difference it can make to both your brain and body!