Magnesium Brain Function

Magnesium Brain Function

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Magnesium L-Threonate


Magnesium L-threonate Benefits
1. Memory Benefits
Magnesium's role in neuroplasticity, learning, and memory hinges on its interaction with the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. This receptor is stationed on neurons where it accepts signals from incoming neurotransmitters and relays them to its host neuron by opening a channel for calcium to rush in. Acting as a gatekeeper, magnesium blocks the receptor's channel, allowing calcium to enter only when the neural signal is robust enough. This seemingly counterintuitive mechanism enhances learning and memory by increasing receptor and connection numbers, reducing background noise, and preventing signals from becoming excessively strong, which can cause cell death and brain inflammation.

Given this remarkable effect on the brain, magnesium L-threonate has been studied for its effects on memory and learning. In one noteworthy study, mice given oral magnesium L-threonate performed significantly better on both long- and short-term memory tasks after only one month of supplementation.

Older adults are particularly prone to magnesium deficiency, and this is one possible mechanism being studied in Alzheimer's dementia. Magnesium L-threonate has been specifically studied in a mouse model of Alzheimer's and a small pilot study in humans. Both studies showed promise with improvements in cognitive tasks and, as seen in the mice, an increased number of neural connections.

2. Calming Benefits
Does magnesium L-threonate make you sleep? In addition to aiding in memory formation and cognition, magnesium is also well known to be calming, improving anxiety, and aiding in sleep. 

The relationship between magnesium and mental health is a two-way street because not only does increased magnesium intake reduce stress and anxiety, but stress actually reduces the level of magnesium in the body by increasing how much is excreted into the urine by the kidneys. Therefore, supplementing with magnesium may be particularly important when under stress or when experiencing anxiety.

In one study, mice treated with Magnesium L-threonate were found to overcome their fear faster and retain their new anxiety-free state longer than untreated mice. The mechanism of this appeared to be the same as that for memory; the treated mice had an easier time forming new associations and retaining new information, so they adapted to their new safe environment faster than their untreated peers.

Other theories as to how magnesium improves anxiety include reducing excess excitatory signals from the brain by blocking NMDA receptors and increasing the activity of receptors that accept and propagate the calming signals of GABA, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.

3. Mood Benefits
While magnesium L-threonate has not yet been specifically studied for depression, studies of other forms of magnesium suggest that it may exhibit antidepressant effects and boost the effects of antidepressants when they are taken together. The antidepressant effects of magnesium appear to be linked to its ability to increase serotonin production, as evidenced by reduced efficacy when serotonin production is blocked.

In depressed, elderly people with type 2 diabetes who were low in magnesium, 12 weeks of magnesium supplementation was as effective as an antidepressant in improving depression symptoms.

4. Attention Benefits
A small pilot study involving 15 adults with ADHD demonstrated significant improvement after 12 weeks of supplementation with magnesium L-threonate. While this study lacks a control group, the initial results are intriguing. Broader investigations into magnesium's impact on ADHD, albeit with different magnesium forms, reveal positive outcomes, emphasizing its potential as a supportive treatment.

5. Pain Relief and Fibromyalgia Benefits
An insightful study exploring magnesium citrate supplementation in fibromyalgia patients over 8 weeks showcased significant improvements in pain when compared to a placebo. Additionally, these benefits extended across all parameters of fibromyalgia when paired with amitriptyline, underlining the potential benefits of combining magnesium supplementation with traditional treatments.

In another study, the efficacy of magnesium L-threonate in addressing nerve pain induced by chemotherapy was investigated using a rodent model. The findings suggested that the mechanism behind chemotherapy-induced nerve pain involves a reduction in magnesium levels, which results in inflammation and damage to nerves. By preventing magnesium deficiency during chemotherapy treatment, the magnesium L-threonate supplement was able to prevent the usual complication of chronic nerve pain.

Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that magnesium L-threonate may play a preventative or therapeutic role in chronic pain associated with menopause. In a mouse model, supplementation with magnesium L-threonate not only prevented but also treated nerve inflammation triggered by the decline in estrogen levels, offering a promising avenue for addressing menopause-related chronic pain. These studies collectively illuminate magnesium's multifaceted potential in alleviating and preventing various forms of pain related to inflammation, bringing new perspectives to the forefront of pain management research.



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