Magnesium: Nature’s Chill Pill

For the countless people who resolved to ease stress and boost well-being in 2019, this multitasking mineral can help

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We are a nation on edge: According to a poll from the American Psychiatric Association, Americans are feeling more anxious now than they were in 2017 about health, safety, finances, relationships and politics…we have a lot stressing us out these days (1).

Millennials earned the not-so-appealing distinction of being the most anxious generation, but they aren’t alone. In the poll, baby boomers reported the greatest increase in anxiety over the past year. On the gender divide, women are feeling it most; 57% of women between the ages of 18 and 49 reported being more anxious this year, compared to 38% of men.

Not surprisingly, “reduce stress” ranks as a top New Year’s resolution. As we ring in 2019, people are looking for a fresh start to feel lighter and brighter. Enter magnesium, aka “the original chill pill” (2). This mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical metabolic operations and plays a role in everything from energy production to improved mental health. It’s also been linked to numerous health benefits (3). Without sufficient intake of this mineral, people can find themselves at an increased risk for everything from anxiety and depression to hypertension—and that’s a concern, as up to 50% of people are deficient (4). With adequate intake, though, people report an array of perks.

Calm, sunny moods
Magnesium has long been linked to reduction in depressive symptoms, and the nature of the relationship between mood and the mineral continues to be explored. One study of 8,894 adults found a significant association between very low magnesium intake (below 184 mg per day) and depression that was most prevalent in adults younger than age 65 (5).

Another study looked at the effects of daily supplementation with four 500-mg tablets of magnesium per day. It revealed that this intake leads to a decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression or use of antidepressant medications (6).

Healthy bones
Feeling more at ease isn’t the only benefit they may experience. Magnesium also works to assist with the activation of vitamin D, which helps regulate calcium and phosphate homeostasis to influence the growth and maintenance of bones (8).

Heart health
Studies indicate that a diet deficient in magnesium may lead to cardiovascular concerns; one study looked at 7,731 men and women over a six-year period and found that the risk of hypertension decreased as fasting serum magnesium levels increased among the population (9).

Convenient sources
From pills and powders to topicals, customers have their pick when it comes to how to up their magnesium. A few options:
• Magnesium citrate is highly absorbable and available as a tablet or an oral solution, making it convenient for many. It’s important to note, though, that it can act as a laxative. (10).
• Magnesium glycinate is a highly absorbable form that Josh Axe, N.D., recommends for anyone with a known magnesium deficiency. He notes on his website, DrAxe.com, that it is less likely to cause laxative effects than some other forms (11).
•Magnesium orotate is said to promote heart health while also being easily absorbed by the body (12).
• Magnesium chloride flakes can be added to a bath to promote relaxation and smooth skin.
• Magnesium oil is a topical option that Dr. Axe says can be beneficial for those with digestive disorders that prevent normal absorption of magnesium from their food. (12). Magnesium oil is included in sprays, creams, bath soaks and deodorant. It is well-absorbed by skin and said to help with body-wide deficiency symptoms.
• Magnesium L-threonate has the unique ability to permeate the brain. David Perlmutter, M.D., reports that it has been shown to enhance learning abilities, memory and sleep (13).
Once armed with the form of magnesium that fits their needs and their lifestyle, your customers can be on their way to a healthier, happier and calmer 2019. Cheers to a wonderful year ahead! WF

References:

  1. “Americans Say They are More Anxious than a Year Ago; Baby Boomers Report Greatest Increase in Anxiety” https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/americans-say-they-are-more-anxious-than-a-year-ago-baby-boomers-report-greatest-increase-in-anxiety
  2. Deans, “Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201106/magnesium-and-the-brain-the-original-chill-pill
  3. Kostov, Halacheva, “Role of Magnesium Deficiency in Promoting Atherosclerosis, Endothelial Dysfunction, and Arterial Stiffening as Risk Factors for Hypertension” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6032400/
  4. “Researchers Find Low Magnesium Levels Make Vitamin D Ineffective” https://osteopathic.org/2018/02/26/researchers-find-low-magnesium-levels-make-vitamin-d-ineffective/
  5. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B, “Magnesium intake and depression in adults” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25748766
  6. Tarleton, Littenberg,MacLean, Kennedy, Daley, “Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial” https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180067#sec015
  7. “4 GABA Deficiency Symptoms You Can Identify Yourself” https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/4-gaba-deficiency-symptoms-you-can-identify-yourself/
  8. Uwitonze, Razzaque, “Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29480918
  9. “Magnesium: A Mighty Mineral” http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/minerals/article/magnesium-mighty-mineral
  10. Peacock,  Folsom, Arnett,  Eckfeldt, Szklo, “Relationship of serum and dietary magnesium to incident hypertension: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10192647

  1. “How to Use Magnesium Citrate for Constipation” https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/magnesium-for-citrate-constipation#magnesium-citrate
  2. Levy, “Should You Be Taking Magnesium Supplements?” https://draxe.com/magnesium-supplements/
  3. Group, “9 Common Types of Magnesium Explained” https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/types-of-magnesium/
  4. “Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals” https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#h3

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