Magnesium Deficiency in the Brain
Research shows that 52.5% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
In Canada, 9.5-16.6% is below the reference range for serum magnesium (mg). Deficiency is actually most common in younger individuals (particularly teenage-adolescent females).
As high as 80% of postmenopausal women may be deficient in magnesium.
In another study, 119 out of 179 (66%) patients admitted to the ICU were magnesium deficient.
Athletes are also commonly deficient; over 42% of young (aged 15-18) volleyball and rower athletes were magnesium deficient in another study.
Magnesium deficiency is likely even more common than this
The major reason is that serum magnesium (which is the marker used in these studies to determine rates of deficiency is inadequate for measuring our true magnesium stores.
Only 1% of our total body magnesium is found in our serum! Do we have adequate levels in the other 99% of our body? This serum test cannot tell us that….
Low magnesium severely impairs brain function
Magnesium prevents overstimulation of NMDA receptors in your brain. This is incredibly important since excess stimulation of these receptors causes neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress contribute to neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric disorders, including depression.
Speaking of depression, magnesium is also required in the brain to make serotonin. This is interesting since the most common treatment for depression are SSRI’s - which are prescribed based on the premise that low levels of serotonin in the brain contribute to depression.
Interestingly, research shows that low magnesium does indeed contribute to anxiety, stress, headaches, and depression. Research has also found that supplemental magnesium is able to alleviate major depression.
Magnesium is also critical for synaptic density - which forms memories and is necessary for communication between our neurons. It also supports energy production in the brain.
A loss of synaptic density is one of the hallmarks of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease - patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have lower magnesium levels in the brain.
There is only one ‘type’ of magnesium which actually crosses your blood-brain barrier, and that is Magnesium L-Threonate.
One study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s gave 44 patients with ‘pre-Alzheimer’s disease’’ (known as MCI) Magnesium L-Threonate at 1.5g/day, or 2g/day (depending on body weight). At the end of the trial, they found marked improvements to cognitive function. In fact, the researchers concluded that the magnesium “reversed the equivalent of 9 years of brain aging.”
Another clinical trial performed at Standard University gave 15 adults with ‘probable AD’ a complex known as Magtein; a patented blend of Magnesium L Threonate, and Vitamin C and D (because C and D deficiencies prevent us from properly metabolizing magnesium!)
After continually supplementing Magtein, they had profound improvements to their cognitive score (MMSE), which actually returned them ABOVE the ‘cognitive decline mark’.
ATP Labs Mindmag uses this SAME patented Magtein; supplying your brain with Magnesium L-Threonate, and Vitamin C and D.
My favorite ways to use Mindmag include 1 capsule in the AM with my coffee to improve focus, 1 capsule post-workout to support recovery, or 1-2 capsules before bed to improve sleep and dreaming.
Andrási, Erzsébet et al. ‘Brain Aluminum, Magnesium and Phosphorus Contents of Control and Alzheimer-diseased Patients’. 1 Jan. 2005 : 273 – 284.
Qifeng Sun et al., Regulation of structural and functional synapse density by L-threonate through modulation of intraneuronal magnesium concentration, Neuropharmacology, Volume 108, 2016, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.05.006.
Liu G, Weinger JG, Lu ZL, Xue F, Sadeghpour S. Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01, a Synapse Density Enhancer, for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;49(4):971‐990. doi:10.3233/JAD-150538
Natalie L Rasgon, MD, Ph.D, The Use of Magnesium L-Threonate for the Enhancement of Learning and Memory in People With Mild to Moderate Dementia. Stanford University. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02210286
Bertinato J, Wang KC, Hayward S. Serum Magnesium Concentrations in the Canadian Population and Associations with Diabetes, Glycemic Regulation, and Insulin Resistance. Nutrients. 2017;9(3):296. Published 2017 Mar 17. doi:10.3390/nu9030296