Does magnesium help with anxiety?
Anxiety, reading this word only brings a kind of uncomfortable sensation. Therefore, it would be better to know a little about anxiety than proceed further with the effect of magnesium in curing anxiety.
Almost every person in their life must have felt this sensation at least once. Though it depends on the seriousness of anxiety, either it needs medical care or self-care would be enough. If you think anxiety is just nervousness or stress then you are mistaken. There are different symptoms and reasons for it like:
- Excess sweat release
- Fast heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Limbs or muscle weakness, etc.
Apart from these symptoms, scientists also discovered 7 main types of anxiety;
- Social Phobia
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Now, this was just a briefing about the problem. Coming back to the topic which is whether or not magnesium is helpful in Anxiety. Let’s find out!
When it comes to body functioning, mineral-like magnesium plays a vital role like regulates blood pressure, helps in the immune system, and also helps in muscles or nerves functioning. It almost helps in almost 300 chemical reactions taking place in our body. A body of an adult contains about 25grams of magnesium in which the bones contain the maximum amount of. Also, it is advised to intake at least 310-420 milligrams of magnesium every day. It may vary depending on the age if a person is intolerant to it or sex. Studies have also shown an outcome that deficiency of magnesium causes mental health problems which includes anxiety.
Apart from the above benefits magnesium can naturally help in the treatment of anxiety. It was found that while dealing with extreme stress, the body uses magnesium more often than regular. In a review for natural treatments of anxiety made in the year 2010, magnesium emerged as an effective way! If you see a more recent review, then in the year 2017 review, which looked at 18 different studies enlightens that magnesium was affecting in lowering the anxiety level. These studies were conducted on mild anxiety, anxiety occurring during premenstrual syndrome (periods), generalised, and postpartum anxiety.
During the studies, it was found that the reason magnesium was able to lessen anxiety was due to its positive effect on brain functioning. It was seen in the researches that magnesium plays a very vital role in regulating neurotransmitters (It sends messages across the brain and body). The pituitary gland and adrenal gland are responsible for the human’s response to stress or anxiety which is regulated by the hypothalamus. Magnesium affects the hypothalamus positively thus in the end helping in curing anxiety.
Ways in which magnesium helps aiding anxiety:
Its super effect in calming, providing relaxation at the time of anxiety, and helping in brain activity makes it one of the most important minerals of the human body.
Increase in Relaxing Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) due to Magnesium
This is a prominent method where magnesium helps in anxiety issues by stimulating and binding to Gaba receptors present in the brain. The role of Gaba is to slow down the activities of the brain to give some time to relax. It is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Your brain is always in the working condition when there is less available Gaba which makes it very difficult for the brain to calm down thus welcoming anxiety.
Symptoms that show the chances of having less Gaba level are:
- Always have something new to worry about
- Gets overwhelmed very easily
- Lying awake having with many thoughts rushing in together at the same time
Gaba deficiency causes:
- An anxiety-related disorder like GAD (generalised anxiety disorder, panic attacks)
- Bad bowel syndrome
- Involuntary movement syndrome-like Tardive Dyskinesia, Huntington’s Chorea, and Parkinson’s Disease
Therefore, this shows that the ample amount of magnesium balances the Gaba level in the brain thus helping in preventing the above diseases. If you find the above symptoms in you, you should start taking some magnesium-rich products after consulting a doctor. There is an online pharmacy that can provide you with both doctor consultation and medicines as well.
Decrease in the Number of Stress Hormones Due to Magnesium
Cortisol, a primary stress hormone, if available in excess amount may result in;
- Brain fog
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Concentration problem
- All kinds of mental disorders
But this stress hormone cortisol release is restricted by magnesium. The mineral acts as a barrier and prevents this stress hormone from entering the brain. The bestseller book The Magnesium Miracle of Carolyn Dean found that the deficiency of magnesium is the major contributor to panic attacks and anxiety. Carolyn stated after a thorough study on magnesium effects that when there are some serious anxiety issues, you must increase the level of magnesium in your body to fight.
The anti-Inflammatory factor of Magnesium
Anti-Inflammatory is yet another way of magnesium dealing with anxiety issues. Chronic inflammation may occur in any part of your body and brain. Inflammation in the brain is connected to various neurological and psychiatric disorders which includes anxiety, substance abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia.
Why the above point is highlighted because deficiency of magnesium has a direct connection in increasing the pro-inflammatory markers. Cytokines, inflammatory immune system messengers are responsible for activating inflammation in the brain, altering the functioning of the brain, and damaging the brain tissue. Thus, Cytokinesis is also responsible for anxiety, memory loss, depression, slowed response, inability to focus, apathy, bipolar disorder, and the most dangerous increases in the risk of suicide.
Magnesium Helps in Increasing the Brain Plasticity
Brain Plasticity refers to the ability of your brain to heal itself, make new neural connections throughout life and ability to create new brain cells. Brain Plasticity is also recalled as neuroplasticity. Among the very few known nutrients, magnesium is among the important ones that are important for the increase of brain plasticity.
If you look at the facts and evidence, then it is seen that the intake of magnesium has enhanced the effectiveness of “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”, a therapy used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The reason behind this may be the increase in brain plasticity which enables the brain to rewire itself thus becoming less stressed.
Magnesium helps in relieving depression
A person going through anxiety issues also face depression as these two mostly comes together. To give you a more clear view on this point, it is seen that almost 90% of people facing anxiety experiences depression too and almost 85% of people facing depression have some anxiety issues in them.
Well, magnesium helps in both cases. Another study proves that the effect of magnesium is as equal as prescribed medicines for treating depression. Supplements like Glycinate or Magnesium Taurinate have a significant effect in controlling general or major depressive disorders within a week. It aids the issue by increasing the level of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.
Magnesium might be efficient in removing the heavy metals, also helps in controlling blood pressure
Metals like mercury, aluminium and lead are some neurotoxic metals available in the human body that are connected to anxiety and stress along with some neurological disorders. They tend to break down your brain’s filter and blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain. Evidence shows that magnesium is effective in removing heavy metals from the body, specifically from the liver, muscles and blood. Though it is a good example still it is quite unclear that magnesium can remove toxic metals present in the brain.
Stabling blood sugar is very essential for calming the brain and magnesium is effective in balancing the blood sugar. Glucose is the main source of fuel for the brain and needs a constant supply to the brain. Failing to get an adequate amount of glucose in the brain leads to low blood sugar levels.
Indirectly it affects hypoglycaemia, which is responsible for anxiety and magnesium prevents it from happening that. When blood sugar levels dipped down, there is a release of epinephrine and cortisol from adrenal glands thus bringing the blood sugar level back to normal. It is advised to intake at least 340 mg of magnesium per day to prevent blood sugar from dripping down.
The reason behind the deficiency of magnesium in the human body is increasing:
- Intake of more refined foods containing very less amount of magnesium. Due to the crops growing in mineral-depleted soil, even the food being full of nutrition and healthy elements may contain less amount of magnesium.
- Taking water in which fluoride is added binds with magnesium and makes it less bioavailable.
- Deficiency of magnesium due to chronic stress, etc.
The foods rich in magnesium are:
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Black beans
- Peanut butter
- Soy milk
- Shredded wheat cereal
- Plain yogurt
- Brown rice and many more.
Therefore, if you think you have some symptoms indicating low magnesium. Then you can have these magnesium-rich foods. Now, you might see people saying that they eat chocolates as a source of magnesium, but unfortunately, it is not on the list of food having high magnesium. Therefore, eat wisely!