Do you have a magnesium deficiency? You might—and not even know it. Because magnesium works inside cells and is not always found floating in your bloodstream, a standard blood test may not be a useful diagnostic tool. Magnesium deficiencies, however are common among Americans. It is estimated, in fact, that about 80% of the population is magnesium-deficient.
Why is this number so high? Many factors contribute to magnesium deficiency—chronic stress, processed foods, chronic illness, digestive issues which cause malabsorption. . .the list goes on. Those at highest risk for low magnesium levels include those with existing gastrointestinal diseases, chronic alcohol use and the elderly.
You might be thinking, “I take a multi-vitamin, so I’m good!” But this is not the case. Most multi-vitamins on the market don’t contain adequate amounts of magnesium. The US RDA recommends that women supplement with 250-300 mg of magnesium a day. Men require more, about 400 mg daily. Depending on your individual needs, you might need more! In a randomized controlled trial in depressed older adults, 450 mg of magnesium daily improved mood as effectively as an antidepressant drug without the side effects and risks.
And then, there’s the case that there are many forms of magnesium, and they aren’t created equally. Magnesium Citrate may be the easiest and cheapest to find, however, it is harsh on the digestive tract, which may lead to loose stools, stomach cramping and over time, gut inflammation. Another form, Magnesium Oxide, may relieve migraines, but has a poor absorption rate, so it will not adequately increase your overall magnesium levels.
Some of the key symptoms of magnesium deficiency impacts your mood, leading to such symptoms as depression, anxiety, increased PMS and chronic insomnia. Research is demonstrating the link between mood disorders and magnesium deficiency.
According to a 2016 assessment by the National Institute of Mental Health, 16.2 million adult American have experience as least one episode of major depression (major depression is defined as lasting at least two weeks, a loss of interest in hobbies/depressed mood along with at least four other symptoms impacting daily function).
Another analysis of over 8,800 people under the age of 65 with the low magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of depression.
Studies such as these as well as others are indicating the important role that magnesium plays in brain function and mood.
How Does Magnesium Affect the Brain?
It turns out that serotonin, a brain chemical that helps deliver messages to nerves and is commonly associated with sleep, mood, emotions, appetite, cognitive function and more, requires magnesium to properly be secreted and utilized. Studies demonstrate that a malfunction in serotonin transmission may contribute to depression; supplementing with magnesium helps to increase serotonin levels.
Magnesium Helps Regulate Hormones:
Hormone balance is connected to mood and wellness. Magnesium helps regulate chronic stress by keeping cortisol levels in check. Balancing cortisol, in turn, helps to keep progesterone, testosterone and estrogen levels regulated, as well. Hormone balance is essential to managing mood and mood-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Magnesium also has an impact on your thyroid, assisting with hormone production and protecting this gland with its anti-inflammatory properties. Hypothyroidism is related to depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
Blood Sugar Regulation:
It’s not uncommon to experience binge-eating and food cravings when your body is under chronic stress. Magnesium helps reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar since it regulates insulin production.
“Magnesium hangs out in the synapse between two neurons along with calcium and glutamate. If you recall, calcium and glutamate are excitatory and in excess, toxic. They activate the NMDA receptor. Magnesium can sit on the NMDA receptor without activating it, like a guard at the gate. Therefore, if we are deficient in magnesium, there’s no guard. Calcium and glutamate can activate the receptor like there is no tomorrow. In the long term, this damages the neurons, eventually leading to cell death. In the brain, that is not an easy situation to reverse or remedy.” Dr. Emily Deans states in Magnesium and The Brain: The Original Chill Pill,
Magnesium has the power to keep calcium levels in check and direct it where it needs to be in order to calm the brain and body.
Frequently, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand with insomnia. Magnesium works well as a sleep aid and helps keep you asleep throughout the night.
Do you frequently get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, to only find you can’t get back to sleep? Interestingly, magnesium also helps with chronic nighttime urination, helping you to get a full night’s sleep without interruption.
Magnesium also helps regulate GABA levels, which in turn, help you receive deeper, more restorative sleep. Many prescriptions and over the counter sleep medications focus on increasing GABA levels as their mechanism of action. Magnesium, however, does exactly this without any of the unhealthy side effects.
Foods High in Magnesium:
You can increase your magnesium levels through diet—to an extent. Beans, peas, dark leafy green vegetables all have high levels of magnesium. The only problem is that our foods’ nutritional quantity and quality has been on the decline for many years. Our soil is also not as nutrient-dense as it once was. Food can lay the foundation, but to adequately maintain optimum levels of magnesium, most people would require daily supplementation.
The most bioavailable form of magnesium is magnesium glycinate. It is also the best form in alleviating stress and anxiety, depression, promoting muscle relaxation and calming the body and mind. This is due to glycine’s impact on the nervous system. What’s beneficial about magnesium, as well, is its lack of negative side effects on the digestive tract. It will not cause loose stools or stomach upset and is safe for long-term use. In fact, research on magnesium glycinate shows its positive effect on various digestive issues, such as Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Chelated form further increases magnesium glycinate’s bioavailability and absorption rate, thereby being the best form for increasing magnesium levels.
Depressed? Magnesium glycinate can alleviate depressive symptoms in less than seven days, according to a 2006 study.
Magnesium glycinate is also the best choice in promoting calm and better sleep. Our core body temperature lowers when we relax, and this decrease helps to promote better quality, more restful sleep. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, showed that glycine, a component of magnesium glycinate, provides reduces core body temperature and calms the brain, resulting in higher quality sleep. Although the testing was performed on rats, the same outcomes are believed to apply to humans.
Our Optimum Magnesium contains two bioavailable forms of magnesium:
Di-Magnesium Malate, contains 69% malate (malic acid). Malic acid is utilized as it enhances magnesium. Magnesium and malate play crucial roles in energy production under aerobic conditions or when decreased oxygen levels are present. Malic acid is known to show protective benefits by binding aluminum.*
- Supports Cardiovascular Health
- Supports Healthy Muscle Function/Healthy Nerve Conduction
- Supports Bone Health
- Supports Energy Production
- May Support Healthy Glucose Metabolism
Our Just Relax™ contains a blend of ingredients in natural cherry or citrus flavor powder that supports the body's natural synthesis of catecholamines, the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, hormonal balance, and healthy glucose metabolism. As a convenient drink mix, Just Relax is formulated to provide a peaceful, calm and relaxed state of body and mind.
- Supports Relaxed Mood*
- Supports Hormonal Balance* (supports ovulatory function and quality of eggs for women seeking to get pregnant)
- Supports Inhibitory Neurotransmitter and Second Messenger Functions*
- Supports Healthy Blood Pressure*
- Supports Brain Osmotic Regulation, Glial Cell Function, and Effective Neuronal Transmission