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Trial Finds Reduction in Depressive Symptoms Following Magnesium Supplementation

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By Life Extension • • July 19, 2017

Trial Finds Reduction in Depressive Symptoms Following Magnesium Supplementation
Reprinted with the kind permission of LIfe Extension.

July 5 2017. A randomized, crossover trial reported on June 27, 2017 in the journal PLoS One resulted in a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety among participants who received magnesium for a six week period.

The trial included 126 men and women diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. Sixty-two participants received a daily supplement that contained 248 milligrams elemental magnesium from magnesium chloride for six weeks followed by a six week period during which no supplement was consumed. The remainder of the group received no supplementation during the first six weeks and a magnesium supplement during the latter portion of the trial. Questionnaires in which subjects rated their depression and anxiety were administered at the beginning of the study and every two weeks during the treatment periods.  

Six weeks of magnesium supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in depression scores, however, scores did not improve during the control periods. Anxiety also improved during magnesium supplementation, but worsened during the control portion of the trial. In addition, headaches were less likely to be experienced in association with magnesium supplementation in comparison with no treatment.

“This is the first clinical trial done on magnesium for depression in the U.S.,” authors Emily K. Tarleton and her colleagues at the University of Vermont announce. “There are many barriers to treatment for depression including stigma associated with diagnosis, cost, side effects, non-adherence, and loss to follow-up. Magnesium supplements do not come with the added stigma associated with other therapies and, while monitoring response is still important, the risk of side effects is not as great as from antidepressants.”

“Although improvement in symptoms occurred within two weeks and was maintained while on treatment, long-term effectiveness is unknown and longer trials are needed,” they conclude.

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