Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression in those with a deficiency, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A study reported by NIH showed a decrease in symptoms of both depression and anxiety in patients who took 125 to 300 mg of magnesium, as glycinate and taurinate, daily with each meal and again at bedtime. A deficiency in magnesium may cause symptoms such as irritability, muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consult your doctor if you think you may have a deficiency in this crucial mineral.
Magnesium Is Helpful for Proper Nerve Function
Magnesium is used for approximately 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including maintaining muscle and nerve function. It helps the heart, supports the immune system and is critical for keeping bones strong, reports the Office of Dietary Supplements, a division of the NIH. Magnesium supports a healthy immune system. Other functions aided by magnesium include the regulation of blood sugar, protein synthesis, blood pressure and energy metabolism.
Deficiency May Cause Anxiety, Confusion and Sleeplessness
If your diet is deficient in magnesium–especially if this is coupled with stress and excess calcium in the diet–the deficiency can lead to symptoms such as “agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, sleeplessness, headache, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitability,” according to the NIH. Magnesium supplements may be prescribed to patients who have become depleted because of illness or treatment with certain medicines, the Mayo Clinic states.
Adding Magnesium-Rich Foods
If you would like to add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet, look for green leafy vegetables, nuts, peas, beans and cereals with whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other foods high in magnesium include wheat bran, collard greens, shrimp, barley and garlic. Mental Health Forum suggests that certain foods and drinks deplete our bodies of magnesium; these include large amounts of coffee, soda, alcohol, salt and sugar.
The Mayo Clinic cautions that if your diet is high in saturated fats, you may be eating enough magnesium-rich foods, but not absorbing them. Cooking foods may also diminish magnesium content. The recommended daily allowance for adolescent and adult males is 270 to 400 mg per day; for adolescent and adult females the RDA is 280 to 300 mg per day, the Mayo Clinic states.
Consider a Multivitamin
Magnesium should be taken together with calcium for best absorption, and if you are taking magnesium for anxiety, it can be beneficial if the magnesium is a component of a quality multivitamin. This way the body can benefit from a variety of the vitamins and minerals, including magnesium. Stressful situations can exacerbate a magnesium deficiency, the NIH reports.