Research published in the journal Plos One and conducted at Vermont University has shown that taking 248 mg of elemental magnesium each day significantly reduced anxiety and depression. In the past, observational studies have shown a strong correlation between a higher magnesium intake and a reduced risk of depression, but this is the first randomised clinical trial that examined the positive effects of magnesium supplementation on depressed adults in the USA.

The participants only took a magnesium supplement for six weeks, and already experienced significant mood benefits. Their depression and anxiety were measured officially via PHQ-9 scores (Public Health Questionnaire-9). Depression symptoms were reduced by an average 6.0 points and anxiety levels came down 4.5 points.

Interestingly, these mood improvements occurred regardless of age, gender, baseline levels of depression or anxiety, or even whether the participants were taking prescription medication for depression or anxiety. Everyone in the study was helped by magnesium.

Depression and anxiety are significant health problems for a large portion of Americans. They can greatly impact on quality of life, employment opportunities, relationships, and can shorten lifespan. The World Health Organisation predicts that by the year 2020, five of the ten leading medical problems worldwide will be stress related. Many people with depression or anxiety do not seek effective help and suffer needlessly. Others are given prescription medication, which has minimal benefits, and significant side effects.

Magnesium is a safe and inexpensive treatment option that can help in the management of mood disorders. So many people are magnesium deficient these days; this is because the soils in most parts of the world are depleted in this vital nutrient. Therefore when I give my patients a magnesium supplement, they feel noticeably better quite quickly. Magnesium improves their quality of life; they feel more relaxed, sleep better and handle stress better.