Posted on Sun, 6 Oct 13
Two recent scientific publications have concluded that magnesium is a safe and likely helpful treatment for depression while highlighting the need for more research on this under appreciated nutritional medicine.
The first report “Magnesium in depression” comes from a group at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland who have been pioneering recent studies into the nutritional neuroscience of magnesium, particularly its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.
Their comprehensive review of the history, clinical use and science of magnesium concludes that “magnesium preparations seem to be a valuable addition to the pharmacological armamentarium for management of depression.” Interestingly they note that “the first information on the beneficial effect of magnesium sulfate given hypodermically to patients with agitated depression was published almost 100 years ago.” And that since this early observation “Numerous pre-clinical and clinical studies confirmed the initial observations as well as demonstrated the beneficial safety profile of magnesium supplementation.”
The second study “Magnesium and depression: a systematic review” comes from an independent group at the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Spain. The focus of this research group has been the impact of diet and lifestyle on chronic diseases, including depression.
Their systematic review of the topic included 27 studies (21 cross-sectional studies, 3 intervention trials, one prospective study, one case only study, and one case series study). While they highlight that more clinical research is needed they found that “disturbance in magnesium metabolism might be related to depression.” They also suggested that based on the available evidence it appears that magnesium supplementation may prevent depression and might be used as an addition to other anti-depressant treatments.
"Recognizing, treating, and, most of all, preventing depression are important issues and the possible role of magnesium deficiency in depression may have important public health and treatment implications that should be further investigated" they state.
While we wait for further research magnesium remains a very safe, cost-effective and widely available nutritional medicine.
Serefko A, Szopa A, Wlaź P, Nowak G, Radziwoń-Zaleska M, Skalski M, Poleszak E. Magnesium in depression. Pharmacol Rep. 2013;65(3):547-54.
Derom ML, Sayón-Orea C, Martínez-Ortega JM, Martínez-González MA. Magnesium and depression: a systematic review. Nutr Neurosci. 2013 Sep;16(5):191-206.