Magnesium and stress

Magnesium and stress

Magnesium plays an essential role in the chemical reactions all over the body. Several studies show that a low level of magnesium will make you experience muscle cramps, irritability and even depression, in addition to other serious health issues, especially related to the heart and other muscles. People have always used Magnesium as an old home remedy for anxiety, irritability and even depression.

Moreover, magnesium is important in the brain functions and many studies link the effects of Magnesium to mental health and that it has a role in the treatment of major depression.

Magnesium appears to work on 2 levels:

  • Inadequate brain magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels. Anti-depressants have the action to raise brain magnesium.
  • Stress leads us to excess cortisol which damages the brain; and magnesium seems to act on the regulation of the stress hormone and prevent its entrance into the brain. 

Causes of Magnesium deficiency:

  • Stress causes us to waste our magnesium. At the same time, one reason why depression is increasing is magnesium deficiency.
  • We are consuming more refined and processed foods. They are less whole, such as refined grains and white bread and pasta. This causes our grains and other foods to lose magnesium.
  • In addition, ingesting too much calcium interferes with the absorption of magnesium, and causes its deficiency.

Sources of Magnesium:

The best sources of magnesium are whole grains (though again, phytates in grains will interfere with absorption), beans, leafy green veggies, nuts and bananas. Dark chocolate, avocado, and seeds (flax, pumpkin and chia) also have high amounts of magnesium. 

If you have healthy kidneys, magnesium supplementation is safe and generally well tolerated up to a certain point.

As with everything, we should always be careful about the safety. With respect to magnesium supplementation, always consult with your doctor because magnesium might interfere with the absorption and reduce the efficacy of certain medicine and antibiotics.