Magnesium is as potent as antidepressant drugs in relieving symptoms of depression.
Magnesium is as potent as antidepressant drugs in relieving symptoms of depression. Depression, a mood disorder or a mental state which is primarily marked by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a hopeless lack of activity, is often treated with antidepressants. However, instead of going the prescription way that is plagued by some serious side effects, why not go for a natural alternative to treat depression. Studies suggests that magnesium inadequacy could be one of the causative reasons of depression. Hence, increasing dietary intake of magnesium may contribute to fight depression.
Depression has been identified as one of the prime symptoms of magnesium deficiency. People who show depression symptoms, such as an all-pervading sense of sadness, fatigue, loss of interest, anxiety, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts, tend to have low magnesium levels.
How Magnesium Helps Combat Depression
Magnesium plays a key role in improving levels of serotonin, also referred to as a happy hormone. Serotonin production that takes place in the brain helps to regulate mood, sleep, and appetite. Any disturbances in the serotonin levels can have a negative impact on the mood of a person, which may eventually cause depression. When there is a shortage of magnesium in the body due to poor nutrition, serotonin levels tend to decrease, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Increasing magnesium intake appears to correct serotonin imbalances, which may help to fight depression effectively. Although antidepressants help to elevate serotonin levels, side effects associated with these prescription medicines are causes enough for concern.
Serotonin, also known as the feel-good hormone, is crucial for emotional well-being. The hormone helps to maintain emotional equilibrium. Magnesium, known to be involved in over 300 fundamental enzymatic reactions, also promotes release and use of serotonin by the brain. When there is inadequate magnesium, serotonin is not produced in sufficient amounts. Taking antidepressants helps to artificially enhance the supply of serotonin. However, this artificial serotonin production often causes loss of sex drive, a common side effect of antidepressants. If adequate magnesium is present in the body, raising serotonin levels artificially is not necessary.
Magnesium supplements have also been useful to treat major depressive bouts as documented in several case histories. Several case studies have shown that patients taking magnesium supplements in varying strength (125-300 mg) during every meal and just before retiring to bed were able to quickly overcome major depressive episodes within 7 days. The studies did prove that magnesium effectively expedites the process of recovery from depression.
In another randomized clinical trial conducted in 2008, it was observed that magnesium was equally good in comparison to melipramine (tricyclic antidepressant) for the treatment of depression.
Boosting Magnesium Levels
In order to improve blood magnesium levels, it is necessary to include magnesium-rich food in your diet. Almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, and brown rice are some excellent sources of magnesium and hence their regular consumption can help to boost magnesium intake.
Taking magnesium supplements may also be necessary to fight depression effectively. Magnesium citrate, a commonly recommended supplemental form of magnesium, is found to be helpful in overcoming depression. Supplements that contain ionic magnesium citrate can be easily absorbed and hence are often prescribed for depression. Health care providers mostly prescribe a daily dose of 300-400 mg of magnesium for the upliftment of mood and treatment of depressive tendencies.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.