Magnesium: An Essential Supplement for Psychiatric Patients

Studies proclaiming the benefits various micronutrient supplements for mental health appear on a daily basis. Commonly mentioned supplements include omega 3 fatty acids, N-acetylcysteine, tryptophan, methylfolate, methylcobalamin, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), coconut oil, inositol, vitamin D, vitamin B6, choline, and many others.

However, clinicians may be less familiar with another key nutrient for mental stability – magnesium. Although small, the existing body of research on magnesium and mental health is promising.

Treatment with magnesium supplements has been shown to induce rapid recovery from depression,2 improve
symptoms of premenstrual syndrome,3 and reduce hyperactivity in children with ADHD. In addition, patients with schizophrenia have lower erythrocyte magnesium levels than controls.

Magnesium plays a major role in calming the nervous system due to it’s ability to block brain N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDA), thereby inhibiting excitatory neurotransmission.1

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