Magnesium for Anxiety and Depression
Each year millions of people are started onto harmful and debilitating psychiatric drugs and psychological counseling for symptoms that may in fact be rooted in magnesium deficiency. Additional millions unsuccessfully cope with their problems by turning to overeating, smoking, alcohol abuse, street drugs and other addictions to suppress their pain. As a nation we are suffering a 32 percent incidence of anxiety, depression and drug abuse.
People do not get anxiety, panic attacks or depressed because they have a Valium or Prozac deficiency. Our bodies do not need these drugs for important metabolic processes. However, we can develop numerous and varied psychological symptoms because of a deficiency in magnesium, a nutrient our body does require. Does it make any common sense to switch our addiction from sugar, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes to prescription drugs without looking at the possible underlying physical/nutritional causes?
Psychiatrists are too quick to rely on prescription drugs for suffering patients and have no insight into the metabolic functioning of the mind and body and what happens when nutrients are deficient. Anxiety and depression are often nutrient-deficiency diseases and chemical sensitivities, certainly not drug deficiency diseases.
Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D., Medical Director Vida Costa Spa, author of "The Magnesium Miracle".
1. A deficiency of magnesium magnifies depression and stress. Serotonin, the feel good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. A person that is going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit that, if not corrected, can linger, causing depression and further health problems.
2. Magnesium deficiency can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression, as determined in several clinical trials as referenced in the following:
3. Symptoms of chronic magnesium deficiency include paranoia, anxious behavior, depression, hyperemotionality, apprehension, confusion, anger, nervousness, insomnia, and nervous fits to name a few.
4. An important study in 1995 showed that even marginal magnesium deficiency could induce the brain to become hyperexcitable, as shown by EEG measurements. The study lasted six months, with thirteen women ingesting a total of 115 milligrams of magnesium daily, only 30 percent of the RDA, for the first three months, during which time their EEGs showed hyperexcitability. During the second three months, they received 315 mg daily—a little closer to the 360 mg RDA recommended for women. However, even on this low dose of magnesium (315 mg), it took only six weeks for EEG readings to show significant improvement in brain function and decreased excitability.
5. Stress is so prevalent in our daily life and with an active lifestyle it is even magnified further, that we have become desensitized to it and the message it is trying to give us, which is to slow down. Depression and anxiety is a chemical reaction created when the adrenal glands respond to a stressful event, such as low blood sugar, by releasing adrenaline.
6. Hypoglycemia - When you are hungry or skip meals, you lower your blood sugar. The brain becomes extremely vulnerable to excitotoxins during episodes of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Pound for pound, the brain uses more blood sugar than any other part of the body. Low blood sugar occurs when you are malnourished or even when you skip meals. It also occurs in individuals whose adrenal glands are depleted and can’t mount the necessary adrenaline response to raise blood sugar when it gets too low. Magnesium is responsible for balancing blood sugar. With sufficient magnesium and balanced meals to prevent low blood sugar, you can protect yourself against depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Supporting the brain as much as possible with safe nutrients and a safe environment, you may never need the brain-altering medications that are prescribed for these disorders.
7. Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral and is known to alleviate stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia something we all need in these tough and stressful economic times. One of the most absorbable forms of nutritional magnesium is magnesium citrate powder which can be taken with hot or cold water."
MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO HAVE A CALMING EFFECT ON SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY AND STRESS LEVELS.
Magnesium relaxes the nervous system in a number of ways. Besides just relaxing the muscles, it actually is a natural blocker of a receptor in the brain called MMDA. This receptor is stimulated with calcium, actually, and it's something that leads to over-excitation and stimulation of the brain and irritability, depression and many other things. Magnesium is a natural MMDA receptor antagonist, which helps to really calm the nervous system overall.
Depression and anxiety are very related and I think magnesium helps reduce the same phenomena in the brain. I would always recommend that people use a nutritional approach to depression before actually using antidepressants because mostly they don't work well.
Mark Hyman, M.D. - Medical Director and Founder of the Ultrawellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, author of severalNew York Times best-selling books on nutrition, diet and a healthy lifestyle. His clinic is a center for functional medicine, a new field of medicine that addresses chronic disease through its underlying causes rather than just the symptoms. A leading authority on alternative medicine, Dr. Hyman has appeared on numerous television programs including Today,Good Morning America, and The View. Magnesium is covered extensively in one of his books, Ultraprevention.