magnesium helps depression and anxiety

If there was a safe, inexpensive and effective way to help depression, shouldn’t everyone know about it?
Magnesium is almost never mentioned in discussions of depression. That may about to change.

This study of magnesium and depression was controlled, but not blinded, so it awaits confirmation from a double-blind study. But the results are very promising and the treatment is safe.

112 adults diagnosed with mild to moderate depression were given either 248mg of elemental magnesium (delivered by four 500mg tablets of magnesium chloride) or no treatment for six weeks. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) as the test, taking magnesium led to a significant improvement of 6 points (going in to the study, they had scores of 5-19). There was no improvement in the control group. The improvement seen in the magnesium group is impressive because antidepressant drugs are considered to produce an adequate or complete treatment effect if they can produce an improvement of five points or more. Magnesium treatment did better than that. As a bonus, it also produced a significant improvement in anxiety. Anxiety in the control group got worse.

As if these results aren’t exciting enough, the magnesium also worked very fast: effects were seen in only two weeks. When you’re suffering from depression, this fast action is very welcome.

The magnesium was as safe as the placebo with the added benefit that the magnesium group suffered less headaches and muscle cramps: not surprising benefits of magnesium. Looking separately at the subgroup of people who were on SSRI antidepressants, results suggest the possibility that magnesium can also enhance the effects of SSRIs. The magnesium worked equally well on men and women.


PLoS One 2017;doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180067


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For help with depression and anxiety, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

For much more on treating depression and anxiety naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.


The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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