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The following is the top 5 evidence-based benefits of magnesium:
Magnesium Helps Reduce Anxiety
Some studies prove that magnesium can help prevent and treat anxiety. For example, a study involving 3,172 adults linked an increase in magnesium intake with having a lower risk of anxiety and depression.
Similarly, another 6-week study discovered that taking 248 mg of magnesium a day drastically reduced anxiety symptoms. However, other studies showed that a deficiency could significantly increase the body’s vulnerability to stress. As a result, it may intensify anxiety symptoms.
One study concluded that magnesium supplements could help reduce anxiety, but the supplement’s effects have not been studied past 3 months.
Protects Against Depression
Magnesium plays a vital role in mood and brain function, and low magnesium levels are associated with increased depression risk. For example, an analysis of over 8,800 individuals’ data found that those under age 65 who had the most inadequate intake had a 22% increased risk of depression.
In a two-month study, people who took 500 mg of the supplement a day led to significant increases in symptoms of depression with people who have a deficiency.
Another 6-week study involving 126 people showed that taking 248 mg of magnesium a day reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Aids in Hundreds of Physiological Properties
It can be found throughout the body. Every cell in the body contains the mineral and is needed to function correctly.
Approximately 60% of magnesium in the body is found in the bone, as the rest is found in soft tissues, muscles, and fluids, such as blood.
One of magnesium’s main roles is that it acts as a cofactor — a helper molecule — the biochemical reactions constantly achieved by enzymes. It is involved with over 600 responses in the brain and body, which include:
- Regulation of the nervous system: the regulation of neurotransmitters sends messages in your brain and nervous system
- Maintenance of genes: it helps with creating and repairing RNA and DNA
- Helps create energy: converts food into energy
- Helps with muscle movements: aids in muscle relaxation and contraction
- Aids in protein formation: helps with the creation of new proteins from amino acids
Studies have shown that about 50% of adults get less than the daily amount of magnesium that is recommended.
Magnesium Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Having low magnesium is associated with increased levels of inflammation. Therefore, it plays a critical role in chronic disease and aging.
An analysis of 11 studies showed that supplementing it had decreased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, which is a marker of inflammation, within those suffering from chronic inflammation.
Other studies have also shown that supplements can reduce CRP as well as other inflammation markers, like interleukin 6. Furthermore, some scientists connect magnesium deficiency to increased oxidative stress, which is correlated to inflammation.
May support better sleep
A magnesium supplement is often taken as a natural sleep remedy for issues like insomnia. This is due to how magnesium regulates certain neurotransmitters involved with sleep, like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
One study in older adults who had insomnia discovered that a supplement lowered the time it took to fall asleep on an average of 17 minutes.
Another study involving about 4,000 adults connected an increased intake of the supplement to sleep duration and quality improvements.
Additionally, one study linked a higher supplement intake in women with a reduced likelihood of falling asleep throughout the daytime.