Your Brain Needs Magnesium

Your Brain Needs Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 biological processes including protein synthesis, nerve function, heart rhythm, blood sugar regulation and DNA synthesis.  According to Dr. Norman Shealy, "magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient."  Magnesium levels are significantly depleted after exposure to toxins, chronic stress, and brain injuries.  

Over half of the population is deficient in magnesium, and according to recent research, magnesium deficiency may leave us more vulnerable to poor outcomes after a concussion. (1,2)  Much of the damage, and therefore symptoms, that result from a concussion are due to the inflammatory cascade that is set in motion after the initial tissue injury.  Injury to the brain results in the release of glutamate.  Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter.  Excess release of glutamate after a concussion opens calcium ion channels allowing calcium to rush into neurons causing cell damage and cell death. Magnesium blocks calcium channels preventing the rapid influx of calcium and protecting brain cells from damage.  As one would expect, higher magnesium levels in the brain are associated with better recovery from brain injury. (3)  

According to neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, it takes 4-6 hours for magnesium to reach deep brain tissues.  I recommend eating magnesium rich foods or supplementing with magnesium before you sustain an injury so that your body has the levels that it needs to respond effectively. If your diet is deficient in magnesium or if you are exposed to toxins, emotional or physical stress, you must replace lost magnesium daily. Magnesium L-Threonate was developed by researchers at MIT and is the only supplemental form of magnesium that has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and effectively increase the brain’s magnesium levels. Adequate magnesium levels in the brain are vital to cognitive health, learning, memory, stress and sleep management, as well recovery from a concussion. Magnesium’s health benefits extend well beyond brain health and healing and include increased cardiovascular health, relief from migraines, decreased anxiety and resolution of PMS symptoms.

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