Can magnesium supplements reduce anxiety? Here’s the science behind the natural remedy trending for anxiety relief | Health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Jul 10, 2024 09:00 PM IST

Magnesium deficiency is linked to anxiety: Here’s what you need to know about this vital nutrient’s benefits, dosage and precautions as it trends viral

Magnesium has been gaining a lot of attention recently as a potential remedy for anxiety and social media influencers across Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and Twitter are flooding the Internet with viral reels and posts where they have reported about the significant improvements in their mental health after taking magnesium supplements and their positive experiences or effectiveness of the vital nutrient in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. As a natural supplement, magnesium is appealing to those looking for non-pharmaceutical options to manage their anxiety and even a 2017 study found that the nutrient appears to have a beneficial effect on anxiety but the quality of the evidence was mixed and more research is needed.

Can magnesium supplements reduce anxiety? Here’s the science behind the natural remedy trending for anxiety relief (Photo by Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Subrata Das, HOD – Internal Medicine and Diabetology at Sakra World Hospital in Bengaluru, shared, “Magnesium is essential for many bodily functions, yet many people lack it in their diet. About 60% is stored in bones, and the rest in muscles, tissues, and fluids. It supports around 600 metabolic processes, including energy production, protein synthesis, gene maintenance, muscle function, and nerve regulation.”

He gushed, “It reduces stress by controlling cortisol levels, inducing relaxation, and relieving muscle tension. Magnesium deficiency is linked to headaches and poor sleep because of its function in GABA modulation. A 2023 study found that magnesium supplements significantly improved sleep in older adults, highlighting its role in stress management, sleep quality, and metabolic health.”

Highlighting that supplements can help with migraine frequency and weight control by lowering BMI in those who have a deficiency, Dr Subrata Das cautioned, “However, excessive intake can result in negative effects, thus it is critical to use supplements under medical supervision. Hypermagnesemia, that is if magnesium is more than normal then it can cause symptoms like weakness or exhaustion, confusion, and reduced rate of breathing or irregular heartbeat.”

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