What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a natural mineral that’s vital for healthy bone structure and avoiding many diseases in humans.
Many people get magnesium from their diet, but for some of us, supplementation is needed to boost low Magnesium levels.
Lower Magnesium levels are more common in women than men, and Magnesium deficiency is more common in African Americans and the elderly.
Decreased Magnesium levels can lead to diseases such as osteoporosis, clogged arteries, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. Worldwide, osteoporosis alone causes more than 8.9 million fractures a year; this results in an osteoporotic fracture every three seconds.
Magnesium helps to Regulate and Maintain:
- Enzyme Activity: Allowing many biochemical processes.
- ATP and Energy Production: The body’s cells energy storage unit.
- DNA and RNA: The body’s internal guide for building new cells and proteins.
- Mineral Balance: Which is necessary to keep cells healthy.
This article will discuss magnesium, magnesium supplement benefits, and how Magnesium supplementation can help to combat and prevent anxiety.
Why Have Magnesium Levels Dropped in Humans?
Roughly 80% of New Zealanders may have a Magnesium deficiency. On a global scale, the amount of this mineral that we get from our diets has decreased in the last century. We’ve seen the average daily intake drop from 500mg daily to just 200mg.
These days, the average daily intake is around 200 mg. This is because as a species we’re eating a large number of refined foods, which have very little magnesium content.
Even healthy fruits and vegetables can have low magnesium levels if they are grown in soil that lacks minerals.
Another factor is the fluoride content of the water that we drink. Fluoride binds to Magnesium and reduces the body’s ability to absorb the mineral.
Stress and anxiety also steal Magnesium from us, as they cause us to excrete Magnesium when we urinate. Alcoholics, diabetics, and senior citizens are high-risk groups for dangerously low levels of Magnesium.
What Causes Anxiety?
One in six adults in New Zealand have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety has many different causes, from genetics through to brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Lifestyle choices such as alcohol abuse or use of illegal drugs can also increase levels of anxiety.
Some medical conditions can also cause anxiety disorders. Heart Disease, diabetes, asthma, thyroid problems, and illegal or pharmaceutical drug withdrawal are all known to have the potential to cause increased anxiety.
Also, muscle cramps, spasms, and rare tumors that produce adrenaline type hormones are also possible causes of stress.
Anxiety often develops during childhood and young adulthood; therefore, if you develop anxiety later in life, it’s likely to be caused by a medical condition.
Stressful living conditions and places can trigger anxiety disorders, as can long term stress, and trauma as a result of PTSD, divorce, neglect or abuse.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
The symptoms of anxiety can be far worse than the events, experiences, or factors that caused them. They include:
- Excessive worrying: People often start to worry about things that previously wouldn’t have bothered them.
- Restlessness: People that suffer from anxiety often describe themselves as feeling on-edge, or fidgety as they struggle to relax their body and racing thoughts.
- Feeling Agitated: As the nervous system goes into overdrive, people can feel agitated with their pulses racing, sweaty palms, dry mouths, and shaky hands.
- Tired: Depression and anxiety can leave people feeling flat and tired at all times. A wave of fatigue often follows long periods of worry and agitation.
- Poor concentration: Many people that suffer from anxiety report to have difficulty concentrating.
- Irritability: A recent study of 6000 adults showed that over 90% of anxiety sufferers felt irritable when their anxiety levels increased.
- Sleep Disturbances: People with anxiety disorders often have problems falling or staying asleep.
But what are the specific Magnesium supplement benefits for those diagnosed with anxiety?
Magnesium Increases GABA Production:
Magnesium can relieve symptoms of anxiety by stimulating the GABA receptors that are located in the brain. Magnesium binds to these receptors and helps to slow down brain activity.
GABA or ‘Gamma-aminobutyric Acid’ is a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. When GABA levels are low, your brain becomes overstimulated, and people are unable to relax fully.
If you are feeling overwhelmed continuously, filled with unnecessary worry, or have a racing mind which is reducing your ability to sleep, it’s more than likely that you have low GABA levels.
Low GABA can be associated with many stress-related disorders including panic attacks, IBS, anxiety disorders, and even Parkinson’s.
Magnesium Helps to Reduce Stress Hormones:
Magnesium helps to regulate cortisol levels, which leads to a more balanced level of hormone in our bodies. The mineral also helps to regulate the parts of the brain that are needed for memory function and can help to clear up the general ‘foggy’ feeling associated with anxiety.
High cortisol levels contribute to depression, mood swings, dementia, concentration problems, and some mental disorders. Magnesium supplement benefits include helping to lower the release of stress hormones by filtering them as they try to enter the brain.
When we are anxious, the body produces an increase in stress hormones, making us feel physically and mentally tense. Boosting your Magnesium levels will help to curb these hormones and lower stress levels in general.
Magnesium Removes Heavy Metals:
Heavy metals can enter the body from the foods that we eat and the places that we live in. Metals such as lead, mercury, and aluminum are all linked to anxiety and other disorders of the body and brain. Some of these metals can build up in the brain over time.
However, Magnesium will bind to these heavy metals and help to remove them from our bodies. Although the mineral may not have the ability to remove heavy metals from the brain, the removal from the body will help to balance out your system and lead to a healthier nervous system on the whole.
Magnesium Relieves Depression:
Anxiety and depression often come in pairs. Over 90% of those with anxiety disorder show symptoms of depression and 85% of people with major depression are also diagnosed with a form of anxiety disorder. Luckily, magnesium can help to relieve both of these conditions.
Magnesium has been known to provide a large amount of relief from both general depression and major depressive disorder. In some cases, it has been reported to help people quicker and more efficiently than some anti-depressant medications.
This is due to Magnesium’s ability to boost serotonin levels within humans. Serotonin is our happy hormone; it helps to regulate and stabilize our moods.
As well as providing relief from depression and anxiety, Magnesium can also be great for sufferers of ADHD, Schizophrenia, and some cases of bipolar disorder.
Lack of sleep can have a very negative impact on the lives of those suffering from anxiety. Luckily, Magnesium can help to improve the quality of our sleep and this, in turn, helps to relieve the symptoms linked to anxiety and depression.
Magnesium Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels:
The brain is powered by glucose and needs a constant reply to keep us feeling energized and focused. Magnesium helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels throughout our bodies, stopping them from dropping to lower levels.
When blood sugar levels decrease, the brain releases epinephrine and cortisol. This makes people feel nervous, shaky, dizzy and can cause heart rates to soar, much like the symptoms of a panic attack.
If your anxiety is a result of low blood sugar, then you need to take steps to improve your diet urgently. Try and increase the number of healthy fats and proteins that you eat instead of snacking on refined foods. Top this up with at least 340mg’s a day of a magnesium supplement.
Magnesium Supplementation Can Increase Brain Plasticity:
The brain has the unique ability to heal itself by creating new brain cells and neural connections during our lifetimes. This process is called neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity.
There is evidence to suggest that Magnesium can encourage and increase this plasticity. The mineral can also increase the positive effects of therapy as it allows the brain to begin it’s rewiring process under calmer conditions.
This means that the brain can re-learn behaviors and stop feelings of anxiety in some people.
Magnesium Improves Overall Mental Wellbeing:
Magnesium really is a wonderful mineral; it helps to improve the overall wellbeing of millions of people every year.
People with normal levels of Magnesium in their bodies are happier, less stressed, more relaxed, more focused and have increased energy. They also have better sleep and feel more in control of their lives overall.
With so many people suffering from low levels of Magnesium across the world, it’s almost an epidemic, with mental health paying the price in many cases. Merely taking a magnesium supplement daily has been proven to enhance the lives of magnesium-deficient individuals rapidly.
Signs of Low Magnesium:
There are six signs and symptoms to look for if you think that you may be deficient in Magnesium:
- Muscle Twitches and Cramps: Twitches and cramps are common signs of magnesium deficiency; these can cause seizures in severe cases.
- Increased Levels of Stress and Anxiety: If you’re feeling more depressed and anxious over time, it may be due to lack of Magnesium.
- Osteoporosis: Weak bones and an increase in fractures may be due to low Magnesium.
- Fatigue: You may feel flat and tired all the time.
- High Blood Pressure: Check your blood pressure regularly if you are concerned that it is too high.
- Irregular Heartbeat: This is one of the most severe symptoms related to lack of Magnesium.
- Another sign is asthma, with people that don’t eat enough Magnesium-rich foods suffering from higher rates of this condition. This could be because magnesium is said to improve breathing.
If you notice one or more symptoms of Magnesium deficiency, you can ask your doctor to test your magnesium levels. We recommend asking them to run an advanced nutrient test as standards tests can often be inaccurate.
If you are diagnosed with low magnesium, start improving your diet and taking a Magnesium supplement as soon as possible.
Magnesium Supplement Dosage, Side Effects, and Information:
Despite many people lacking their RDA of Magnesium, it is widely found in both animal and plant sourced foods. The best natural sources of Magnesium are found in nuts and seeds. However, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and beans are also excellent sources.
Other great natural sources of Magnesium are sunflower seeds, oats, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, coffee, and cocoa. Those who suffer from conditions such as diabetes, or long periods of stress are recommended to increase their intake of Magnesium rich foods.
We recommend that people supplement with a minimum of 420g for men and 320g for women. However, many people benefit from more substantial doses, and it’s perfectly safe to take up to 700mg daily to combat a deficiency and increase Magnesium levels throughout your body.
The most common side effect of Magnesium is loose stools. Very rarely, people have complained of milds headaches and drowsiness during their first week taking Magnesium.
Now that we’ve listed the amount of benefits that Magnesium holds to combat and relieve anxiety disorder, you can click here to start enjoying Magnesium supplement benefits today.