Can Magnesium Supplements Cause Anxiety?
Nov 03, 2022
Can magnesium supplements cause anxiety or help with anxiety?
Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. It's necessary for good health but many people are deficient in magnesium due to poor diet or other factors. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to several health conditions including anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. It's what we feel when we're faced with a situation that is threatening or stressful. For some people, anxiety can be short-lived and manageable, but for others, it can be chronic and debilitating.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may have tried different treatments but found them ineffective or unable to relieve your symptoms completely. If this sounds familiar, you might be wondering if magnesium supplements could help ease your anxiety. But, can magnesium supplements cause anxiety?
Let's take a look at the research to find out.
Table of Contents
Magnesium and Anxiety: What the Research Says
If you're like most people, you probably don't think about magnesium very often. But this humble mineral actually plays a vital role in keeping your body functioning properly.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, including helping to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong.
Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is needed for energy production and protein synthesis.
So it's not surprising that magnesium deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, including anxiety.
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. Symptoms of anxiety can include feeling restless or on edge, feeling easily fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, and having muscle tension.
Anxiety disorders are often treated with medication, but there is growing interest in using magnesium supplements to help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
A number of small studies have found that magnesium supplementation can help reduce anxiety.
One study of people with anxiety disorders found that magnesium supplementation led to a significant reduction in symptoms.
Another study found that magnesium supplementation helped to reduce premenstrual anxiety symptoms in women.
Magnesium deficiency is thought to be one of the causes of anxiety. This is because magnesium is involved in the regulation of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is responsible for calming the nervous system.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to higher levels of anxiety and stress.
The best way to get more magnesium is to eat a healthy diet that includes magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
Magnesium supplements are also available, but it's important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
If you think you might be deficient in magnesium, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to check your levels.
How Does Magnesium Affect Mental Health?
Magnesium plays two important roles in the brain.
- Magnesium can block the stimulation of more excitatory transmitters and bind to the calming effecting receptor, which results in a more restful, relaxed state of mind.
- Magnesium regulates the body's release of the stress hormone cortisol, acting as a "brake" on the nervous system.
As a result, low magnesium levels have been linked with:
- Higher levels of stress
- Insomnia or sleep disturbances
- Headaches or muscle pain/tightness
How Magnesium May Help Ease Anxiety Symptoms
This humble mineral actually plays a crucial role in your health. It's involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in your body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
Magnesium is also essential for helping your body produce energy and for DNA synthesis.
This mineral is so important that a magnesium deficiency can lead to serious health problems.
Interestingly, magnesium may also help ease anxiety symptoms. This is because magnesium plays a role in the production of the neurotransmitter GABA.
GABA is a chemical that helps regulate nerve activity in the brain and is known to have calming effects.
A 2012 study found that magnesium supplementation can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. The study participants who took magnesium supplements had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who didn't take magnesium.
Another study found that magnesium can help reduce premenstrual anxiety and mood swings.
And a small study of people with generalized anxiety disorder found that magnesium supplementation can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
But can magnesium supplements cause anxiety?
If you're struggling with anxiety, talk to your doctor about whether magnesium supplementation might be right for you.
How to Take Magnesium Supplements
When it comes to taking magnesium for anxiety, it's important to know the dosage and considerations involved.
Magnesium is a natural mineral that's needed for many different bodily functions, including keeping the nervous system healthy. Too much or too little magnesium can lead to anxiety, so it's important to get the right amount.
The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is 400 mg per day for adults.
However, some people may need more or less depending on their age, health, and other factors.
If you're considering taking magnesium supplements for anxiety, talk to your doctor to help you determine the right dosage.
Types of Magnesium
There are different types of magnesium, each of which is bound to a different substance. This may affect the rate at which the body can absorb it.
Some of the main forms of magnesium supplements that are currently available are:
- Magnesium citrate: Magnesium citrate is a type of chelated (bound) mineral supplement. It is the most popular form on the market and is readily absorbed through the gut. This form of magnesium has a natural laxative property, so it is often used to treat chronic or acute cases of constipation.
- Magnesium glycinate: Magnesium glycinate also contains glycine which is a type of non-essential amino acid that can act as a neurotransmitter and is thought to affect functions such as sleep, mood, and memory. Some evidence suggests that supplementing with glycine may improve the quality of sleep, which could have positive impacts on anxiety and stress levels.
- Magnesium malate: This supplement combines magnesium and malic acid which are found in various fruits and are also involved in energy production.
- Magnesium taurate: This supplement combines magnesium and taurine, an amino acid with anti-inflammatory effects.
- Magnesium threonate: This form is more easily absorbed by the body than other forms of the mineral. It has been shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which has been linked to improved mood.
Which type of magnesium should you take for anxiety?
In a 2019 study on the absorption of different forms of magnesium, it was found that taurate was absorbed quickest, passed into the brain fastest, and resulted in the greatest concentration in the brain. It was also found that taurate was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and stress.
The two least bioavailable types were magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate.
The best magnesium supplements for anxiety or depression contain a high percentage of magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate, as these forms of magnesium are highly bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body.
Additionally, it is important to choose a product that is free of additives and fillers, as these could potentially aggravate anxiety or depression symptoms.
Potential Side Effects of Magnesium Supplementation
Can magnesium supplements cause anxiety?
There are a few potential side effects of magnesium supplementation, including diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Additionally, magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications, so it is important to speak with your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.
Overall, magnesium is considered safe for most people, but it is always best to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement.
Can Magnesium Supplements Cause Anxiety?
About 60 percent of the magnesium in the human body is found in the bones, while the rest is in the muscles, tissues, and fluids. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.
Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
While you can get magnesium from food, sometimes it’s necessary to take supplements. Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids.
Do note, however, that taking magnesium supplements in excess can cause a range of side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping.
Can magnesium supplements cause anxiety?
Here are 5 precautions to take when using magnesium supplements.
1. Talk to Your Doctor First
Before you start taking magnesium supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if you have a health condition that could be made worse by taking magnesium, such as kidney disease.
2. Start With a Low Dose
When you first start taking magnesium supplements, it’s important to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed. This can help reduce the risk of side effects.
3. Take With Food
Magnesium supplements can cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. To help reduce these side effects, it’s best to take magnesium with food.
4. Watch for Side Effects
As with any supplement, it’s important to be on the lookout for side effects. If you experience any side effects while taking magnesium supplements, stop taking the supplement and talk to your doctor.
5. Check for Drug Interactions
Magnesium can interact with a variety of medications, so it’s important to check for drug interactions before taking magnesium supplements.
Some of the medications that magnesium can interact with include antibiotics, blood pressure medications, and diuretics.
Magnesium supplements may help ease anxiety symptoms. But can magnesium supplements cause anxiety?
It's important to speak with your doctor before taking them. This is because they can cause side effects in some people and may interact with other medications you're taking.
If you do decide to take magnesium supplements, be sure to start at a low dose and increase gradually as needed.