Magnesium and Anxiety

Magnesium and How it Can Help with Anxiety

The mineral magnesium plays several important roles in the body. Low levels can lead to a number of symptoms and according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, anxiety ranks among them. This suggests supplementing with magnesium might alleviate anxiety, but according to the University of Michigan Health System, the evidence for this therapeutic benefit is weak. Some dosage guidelines exist but consult with your doctor for guidance on whether or not magnesium supplementation is appropriate and at what dose.

Research

Austrian researchers wanted to conduct an experiment to test the idea that magnesium deficiency influences mood. The study, published in the December 2004 issue of “Neuropharmacology,” examined the effects of a magnesium-deficient diet on the behavior of mice. They observed this change in diet led to an increase in anxiety-and-depression-related behavior.

A study published in the January 2009 issue of the “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry” found a strong correlation between magnesium intake and levels of depression in community-dwelling adults. The link between magnesium and anxiety was “weaker and not statistically significant.” Whether or not magnesium will actually help reduce your anxiety is not clear but being a generally safe supplement, it cannot hurt to try.

Suggested Dosage

The University of Michigan Health Center notes magnesium supplementation might help with mild anxiety. It notes a typical dose of 200 mg to 300 mg three times a day.

Other Considerations for Use

Make sure to get enough B-6 either through diet or supplementation as inadequate levels will decrease magnesium absorption. Magnesium might inhibit absorption of several classes of antibiotics -- take these supplements one hour before or two hours after the medications. Supplementing with larger amounts of magnesium can create a calcium deficiency if you already have insufficient levels. Consider getting your calcium levels checked before using magnesium supplements.

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