The mental health benefits of magnesium


Do you already use magnesium for your mental health? Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body, and in doing so, it has a lot of influence on mood. Low levels are associated with anxiety, depression and lack of energy. In this blog you can read how magnesium works in the body and in what ways it contributes to a good mood.

The role of magnesium in mental health

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, right behind calcium. It interacts with other minerals, such as vitamin D, B12, potassium and others. For good physical and mental health, you need enough magnesium.

This mineral plays a role in more than 300 processes that take place in the cell. It is important for a functioning immune system, for sleep and for your energy levels. Several studies have shown that low levels of magnesium may be associated with various neurological and psychiatric disorders and especially depression, PTSD, anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder.

For example, it is now known that magnesium interacts with GABA receptors. In this way, it supports the calming effect of this neurotransmitter. Magnesium also helps contain the effects of glutamate (a neurotransmitter that causes arousal and excitation). People who have higher levels of magnesium also have higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. These are both substances that are important for a positive mood.

Magnesium is thus essential for mental health. Below we elaborate on the usefulness of this mineral in mood disorders.

Magnesium in anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, it may be wise to check for magnesium deficiency. This mineral affects the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These parts of the brain play a role in releasing stress hormones, which are at the root of anxiety attacks.

Glutamate also plays a role in anxiety. Glutamate, as mentioned earlier, is a neurotransmitter that causes agitation and overstimulation. If there is an excess of this substance, it leads to overstimulation of cells and can cause changes in mood, such as anxiety. Magnesium can bind to receptors on cells, preventing glutamate from binding there. In this way, magnesium can be anxiety-inhibiting.

The effects of magnesium on stress

Magnesium can likewise help with stress. It makes the body more resilient to stress. The mineral helps you relax better, which is reflected in the body’s stress response calming down faster. Research also shows that magnesium helps improve glucose metabolism and can help lower blood pressure. These two mechanisms also play a role in how well the body handles stress.

In depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and can have a huge negative impact on your life. It contributes to a reduction in quality of life. It also often accompanies other neurological disorders and chronic pain. Since changes in glutamate activity appear to play a role in depression, it is quite possible that low levels of magnesium could also be linked to this condition.

The fact is that we do not yet know everything about the link between magnesium and depression. But there are studies showing that there could be benefits to taking a magnesium supplement if you suffer from depression. In a randomized clinical
found that magnesium supplementation led to marked improvements in depressive symptoms. Participants who used magnesium in combination with antidepressants appeared to notice even greater benefits.

In an
participants with major depression were given 125 to 300 mg of magnesium glycinate. They appeared to recover within a week.

Magnesium for sleep

Another way magnesium can contribute to a positive mood is by promoting a good night’s sleep. This mineral helps regulate the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin, in turn, is important for a healthy day and night rhythm. From a
found that magnesium shortened the time it took to fall asleep. It also helped people sleep through longer and suffered less from waking up too early.

Magnesium as a supplement

Various forms of magnesium are available. If you want to use a supplement, it’s helpful if you know the benefits of the different types and which ones are best to absorb. The
magnesium supplement
from Together contains all 5 natural forms of magnesium and because it comes from a natural source (the water from the Dead Sea) it is easily absorbed by the body.

Magnesium oxide

This is often used for mood support, for good sleep and for stress. Magnesium oxide, however, is less easily absorbed and can cause digestive problems in people who are sensitive to it.

Magnesium glycinate

This form of magnesium can also be used for stress and sleep problems. Glycinate is an important amino acid that can function as a neurotransmitter. It is gentle on digestion and easy to absorb.

Magnesium sulfate

This form is also known as Epsom salt. It is often used as bath salts, allowing magnesium to be absorbed through the skin.

Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate can help you relax better and has a positive effect on mood. In higher doses, it has a laxative effect.

Magnesium malate

This form of magnesium is excellently absorbed and can be used well for complaints related to the nervous system, such as chronic fatigue and pain.

As you have read, magnesium is very important for mental health. Do you suspect a shortage? You can have your magnesium levels tested, but this does not tell you everything. You can safely use a supplement, but stick to the recommended daily allowance.

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