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05-10-21 Magnesium and Brain Health– Carolyn Dean MD ND 

One of the top eight nutrients for protecting aging brains suggested by the Institute of Food Technologists and highlighted in its magazine, Food Technology is “magnesium”.

Unfortunately, most of the U.S. population is magnesium deficient and is not getting their Recommended Daily Allowance of this important mineral. This leaves many Americans at a greater risk for a host of serious brain related health issues including cognitive impairment, stroke with severe post-stroke complications, neurotoxin damage from vast numbers of chemicals in our air, food and water, seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

These conditions are the neurological equivalent of heart disease and are preventable. After all, both the heart and brain are made up of excitable tissues that give off electrical energy, and both must have magnesium to stay healthy and function properly.

In fact, magnesium is one of the most widely researched minerals for brain health and has proven remarkably effective in clinical settings. Some of the biological benefits you can expect from magnesium include:

  1. Alzheimer’s disease: Magnesium blocks the neuro-inflammation caused by the inappropriate deposition of calcium and other heavy metals in brain cells. Magnesium is at work even before the inflammation appears, guarding cell ion channels and not allowing heavy metals to enter.
  2. Magnesium protects the brain from the toxic effects of chemicals such as food additives.
  3. Brain dysfunction: Download a free copy of Magnesium in the Central Nervous System (2011) for an extensive overview of the beneficial effects of magnesium on the brain. https://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/magnesium/
  4. Depression: Serotonin, which elevates mood, is dependent on magnesium. A magnesium-deficient brain is also more susceptible to allergens and foreign substances, which in some instances can cause symptoms similar to mental illness.
  5. Magnesium deficiency can produce symptoms of anxiety or depression, including muscle weakness, fatigue, eye twitches, insomnia, anorexia, apathy, apprehension, poor memory, confusion, anger, nervousness, and rapid pulse.
  6. Serotonin, the “feel-good” brain chemical that is boosted by some psychiatric medications with their dangerously harmful side-effects, depends on magnesium for its production and function.
  7. The body needs magnesium in order to release and bind adequate amounts of serotonin in the brain for balanced mental functioning.
  8. Cognitive deficits in general and diseases such as dementia are often associated with reduced cerebral blood flow.  Magnesium improves the blood flow in the brain and is being used to rehab the brain after stroke.

Another wonderful benefit of magnesium: brain plasticity! You’ve heard the term – but what does it mean?

Well, a synapse is the place where a signal passes from one nerve cell to another. Synaptic plasticity is the biological process by which specific patterns of synaptic activity result in changes in synaptic strength and is thought to contribute to learning and memory.

One study found that synaptic plasticity is a key characteristic of nerve architecture that allows your brain to tolerate stress, recover from trauma, and make changes. Synaptic plasticity is based on having your brain nourished with magnesium in order to properly energize brain cells and prevent them from being inflamed, damaged and functionally impaired. Magnesium is a natural anti-inflammatory.

The health of your nerve cell membranes is vital to their plasticity and in addition to aerobic exercise which stimulates brain plasticity, the study found that the intake of magnesium above the normal dietary amount or Recommended Daily Allowance has a dramatic effect on improving multiple aspects of memory and learning. These findings applied to both young and old alike. Magnesium was found to directly improve synaptic plasticity. Various regions in the brain associated with learning and memory experienced significant improvements in synaptic function as a result of magnesium dietary supplementation.

In my experience the Recommended Daily Allowance of 300 mg to 400 mg is inadequate for important functions of magnesium including optimal brain function. Keep in mind, magnesium is required for 1,000 enzyme functions in the body.  Over the years I have seen significant health improvement in individuals consuming an absorbable form of magnesium such as ReMag in the 600 mg – 900 mg range.

About Dr. Carolyn Dean

Dr Carolyn Dean MD ND has been featured on national media for over 30 years offering practical strategies to improve health, vitality, and well-being the natural way. As a medical doctor, naturopath, certified clinical nutritionist and master of many modalities including acupuncture and homeopathy, Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND has authored over 33 books and 100 publications including The Magnesium Miracle, 3rd Edition, Hormone Balance, Future Health Now Encyclopedia and Heart Health. Please note that the information and opinions expressed on these broadcasts are not designed to constitute advice or recommendations as to any disease, ailment, or physical condition. You should not act or rely upon any information contained in these broadcasts without seeking the advice of your personal physician. If you have any questions about the information or opinions expressed during these broadcasts, please contact your doctor.

Disclosure: Dr. Dean does have a financial interest in the sale of all the Completement Formulas.

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