The Stress Resilient Mind Blog
How Magnesium Can Better Support Brain Function
Publication date: 11 October 2013
This article is a guest post by Virginia Cunningham. Virginia is a freelance health writer and holistics enthusiast in Southern California. As a writer for NorthWest, she is very interested in natural supplements and holistic treatments, she often encourages individuals as well as families to choose these options before considering prescriptions as a solution.
How Magnesium Can Better Support Brain Function
While a magnesium deficiency is quite rare, when it does occur, it can result in symptoms such as fatigue, vertigo, muscle weakness and a whole array of other health issues. Often caused by poor nutrition, uncontrolled diabetes, alcoholism and by taking certain medications, a magnesium deficiency can be effectively treated once it’s been clinically confirmed.
Magnesium is available prescription free as a mineral-supplement at almost all health-food stores, and can benefit you in a variety of areas, more specifically the brain. It could possibly even have some positive effects on dementia, memory deterioration and Alzheimer’s.
Magnesium is essential to the body because it helps to perform over 300 critical enzyme reactions, as well as maintain a normal blood pressure, keep bones strong, as well as steady the rhythm of the heart.
In addition to improving the body’s cardiovascular system, preventing osteoporosis and treating diabetes, research has found that magnesium can also help to eliminate the effects of traumatic stress by actually improving the memory functions of the brain, and helping the brain to avoid anxiety triggers as a result of those memories.
Image courtesy of Michal Marcol -- FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In short, magnesium improves your mind’s ability to retain information and helps to promote a normal thought process, which can help to break free from a variety of memory-related issues.
Consider that even a basic anxiety disorder is caused by a problem with memory. For example, many people who get bitten or attacked by a dog at a young age develop an irrational and over-exaggerated fear of dogs. As these individuals mature in age, that fear can grow and potentially have a permanent effect on their relationship with dogs, having a heightened sense of anxiety that wouldn’t have been there originally.
Ideally, a person should have a cautious “contextual” fear of dogs, meaning simply that the sight of their neighbor’s friendly retriever wouldn’t drive them to panic and fear, but a pack of angry pitbulls would trigger a moderate stress response that tells the person they’re in actual danger.
Magnesium is thought to have the ability to “reset” this part of our brain and helps us to react to triggers more normally, in a contextual manner, without becoming too nervous or fearful depending on the situation.
The implication of this is that magnesium could be an effective treatment for a wide-variety of memory-related disorders, which is why many scientists believe that it could present a possible treatment option for diseases as severe as Alzheimer’s.
While other medical professionals caution against overhyping what is essentially an over-the-counter supplement, the research thus far has been fairly promising.
Other Benefits of Magnesium
In terms of what we know with more certainty, a deficiency of magnesium in the body can cause a variety of inflammation issues, which is why it’s used to treat high blood pressure, migraines and diabetes.
Based on what doctors already know, low doses of magnesium are already being used to treat depression and insomnia with a fair amount of success.
Whether or not it’s able to tackle the more heavy-duty anxiety disorders is still uncertain, yet there’s no question that magnesium is beneficial for you, and if you don’t get enough of it in the food you eat, a supplement should be considered.
Natural sources of magnesium include:
- Most leafy greens
- Beans, peas and soybeans
- Whole grains
Even with these natural sources, if you struggle with not sleeping well or believe that your brain could in fact be performing better than it has been, adding a magnesium supplement is well-worth your consideration.
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