Magnesium’s not the “sexiest” supplement in your medicine cabinet. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most important.
This essential mineral is a jack of all trades—offering critical protection against stroke, heart disease, diabetes, fractures, even cancer. But recent research from the University of Vermont has unearthed yet another benefit. And this one is especially important this time of year, when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) sets in for many people.
This new study featured 126 men and women with mild to moderate depression. Roughly half received a supplement delivering 248 mg of elemental magnesium (from magnesium chloride) for six weeks. Followed by another six-week period without magnesium supplementation.
The rest of the subjects followed the opposite protocol—no supplement for the first six weeks, and 248 mg of magnesium for remainder of the trial period. All the subjects rated their depression and anxiety symptoms at the beginning of the study and every two weeks thereafter.
In both groups, the six weeks of magnesium supplementation brought significant drops in depression and anxiety scores. On the flip side, symptoms either remained stable or worsened during the six weeks without magnesium.
Let me repeat that—just to drive these results home: Magnesium supplementation was able to deliver significant relief from anxiety and depression… in just six weeks.
To put that in perspective, many antidepressant medications take months of tinkering with dosages and drug combinations before their benefits can even be assessed. And even then, I doubt I need to remind you of the risks involved—including suicidal thoughts, weight gain, loss of libido, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, bone fracture risk, internal bleeding. And the list goes on and on…
If given the choice between Prozac and magnesium, there’s no question in my mind what I’d choose.
I recommend 250 mg of magnesium chloride once a day. And you can get an added bump by including magnesium-rich foods into your diet as well. Some good sources include halibut, almonds, cashews, spinach, swiss chard, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Tarleton, E.K., et al. (2017 June 27). PLOS One. PLOS. 12(6):e0180067. Retrieved from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180067