Magnesium as Effective as Antidepressants, Study Shows

Magnesium is one of the most versatile minerals we know of—with positive effects on everything from sleep to headaches to arthritis. There are already plenty of reasons to make sure we're getting enough magnesium, and new research shows that it might even be better for treating depression than prescription antidepressants.

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The study, out of the University of Vermont, focused on the effectiveness of magnesium supplements in treating mild to moderate depression versus traditional SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a common type of antidepressant that mainly focuses on balancing the levels of serotonin, the "feel-good chemical" in the brain. The study found that magnesium was as safe and effective as SSRIs while also being much more affordable.

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"This is the first randomized clinical trial looking at the effect of magnesium supplementation on symptoms of depression in U.S. adults," said Emily Tarleton, bionutrition research manager at the University of Vermont. "The results are very encouraging, given the great need for additional treatment options for depression, and our finding that magnesium supplementation provides a safe, fast and inexpensive approach to controlling depressive symptoms."

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More than 15 million Americans suffer from depression, and 75% of us are magnesium deficient. Although the mineral is present in foods like dark leafy greens, quinoa, lentils, nuts, and seeds, it's difficult to get the necessary amount solely through dietary sources. Supplements like those used in the study are the best way to ensure we get the right amount to feel our best. 

If you've been experiencing any of the following, you might be magnesium deficient:

1. Muscle twitches or spasms (including under your eye)
2. Foot or leg cramping
3. Loss of appetite
4. Headaches
5. Digestive issues or nausea
6. Low energy or fatigue
7. Weakness
8. Irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, or depression
9. Chronic insomnia and other sleep disorders
10. Restless legs, especially at night

If you have depression or suspect you may be magnesium deficient, discuss with your healthcare practitioner to determine which type of supplement is best.  [Editor's Note: We recommend a high-quality magnesium supplement like Natural Calm, from our partner Natural Vitality. Natural Calm is the # 1 selling magnesium supplement in the natural products industry and has been highly reviewed in third party testing.]

By Steph Davidson| July 17, 2017
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Steph Davidson

Steph Davidson

Steph is a writer and editor with a love of tea, books, and horror movies. Steph grew up under the impression that most meals came out of a box and had to contain some sort of animal protein. When an interest in a more environmentally friendly way of living led to her vegetarianism in 2012, she decided to teach herself how to cook. You can catch her kitchen wins (and the occasional opportunity for improvement) on Instagram @_stephinitely_.


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