Magnesium to Treat Anxiety – An Effective Supplement You Should Consider

Updated on March 4th, 2020
magnesium for anxiety

Anxiety is among the most prevalent mental health disorders worldwide characterized by symptoms such as panic and fear. New research findings reveal that anxiety is widespread in developed countries. Magnesium also offers other benefits such as improved bowel health.  Let’s know how does magnesium for anxiety works.

Anxiety is essentially a disorder that is affecting the lives of around 13.3% of Americans at present. Management strategies must be discussed with a medical practitioner if anxiety takes a toll on your health.

Medication, soil depletion and too much intake of refined and processed foods also lead to magnesium deficiency.

Studies reveal that an increased intake of magnesium can drastically reduce feelings of fear. The best part is that the consequences are not restricted to general anxiety disorder either.

Direct contact with stressful test conditions increases the urinary excretions of magnesium. This, in turn, increases the bodily requirement for this electrolyte.

Raised stress hormones are the result of low blood levels of magnesium. The stress hormone noradrenaline (NA) or norepinephrine leads to accelerated heart rate and blood pressure when you are anxious.

ACTH or Adrenocorticotropic hormone controls the levels of a steroid hormone that is released from cortisol (adrenal gland).

A study conducted in 2002 found that individuals with magnesium deficiency who took magnesium before going to sleep had enhanced slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is the deepest time of sleep.

It is characterized by delta wave activity inside the brain along with NREM or non-rapid eye movement. This phase of sleep can make your movements difficult and slower.

Interesting Facts

  1. Magnesium is primarily produced in China (around 80%)
  2. The electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride leads to the formation of magnesium. It is also acquired from seawater.
  3. As it is a metallic ion present in chlorophyll, plants also need magnesium.
  4. Magnesium can normalize neural receptor activity inside your brain.

Different Kinds of Magnesium for Anxiety

Consider using magnesium for anxiety as it is immensely beneficial in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

The body can easily absorb magnesium(1) as it is more often than not linked with other substances.

Magnesium and its myriad kinds are categorized on the basis of these bonding substances.

Let Us Know More About the Diverse Types of Magnesium:

  1. Magnesium Chloride: This is effortlessly absorbed in the body.
  2. Magnesium Citrate: It is commonly used for the treatment of constipation.
  3. Magnesium Glycinate: It is used to lessen muscle pain in individuals.
  4. Magnesium Lactate: It is generally used in the form of a food additive.
  5. Magnesium Oxide: It is used to treat ailments such as constipation and migraine.
  6. Magnesium Sulfate: it is popularly known as Epsom salt and is usually absorbed through the skin than the body.

Know More About Magnesium for Anxiety

Studies conducted by the Office of Dietary Supplements demonstrate that people do not get adequate magnesium from their daily diet. This is why the majority of people suffer from low magnesium levels. Magnesium affects the pathways, hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters which are involved in the regulation of moods.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium varies from 310 to 420 mg for adults. This is dependent on various factors such as a person`s age and gender.

Women need more magnesium during pregnancy as certain vitamins and minerals are absorbed in different ways by the body during this phase.

Magnesium enters the body via the serotoninergic pathway. Serotonin offers responses which are primarily mood-appropriate. When it is not balanced, it can adversely affect your behavior and mental health.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the regulation of neurotransmitter activity. This serves to assuage the physiological responses of anxiety. Magnesium also ameliorates the physiological responses to your sympathetic system.

Magnesium is a cofactor in the formation of serotonin(2) and dopamine. These neurotransmitters play a vital role in the relaxation and regulation of mood.

It also influences the action of GABA which is the brain`s chief inhibitory neurotransmitter actively involved in anxiety. This is why leading anxiety drugs such as Xanax (benzodiazepine) target GABA receptors.

Incorporate adequate amounts of magnesium by including these foods in your daily diet.

  • Fibrous legumes & beans
  • Leafy greens & Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Nuts(Brazil nuts, cashews & almonds)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Seeds(pumpkin seeds)
  • Avocado
  • Whole grains

Best Form of Magnesium for Anxiety

Trusted Source published a review in the recent past which suggested that magnesium played a significant role in reducing anxiety. The study was based on magnesium for anxiety throughout premenstrual syndrome, general anxiety, and mild anxiety.

The outcome was subjective as the studies were carried out on the basis of self-reports. The results suggested that additional, controlled trials were required to corroborate this statement.

The review suggested that as magnesium boosts brain function it can play a significant role in reducing anxiety. It also states that further studies are required to evaluate the anti-anxiety effects of the different types of magnesium as it was undecided as to which specific kind of magnesium is ideal to deal with anxiety.

[Also Read: How To Get Rid of Anxiety Naturally]

The Food and Drug Administration states that around 68% of the population in the United States suffers from magnesium deficiency. Washing, shipping, and techniques of produce processing strip the magnesium content from food.

Magnesium deficiency is referred to as hypomagnesemia. This is an asymptomatic condition that is not visible until alarming levels of magnesium deficiency are seen. It is not diagnosed easily either.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include depression, anxiety, fatigue, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.

What Is the Best Type of Magnesium for Anxiety?


Recent research shows that magnesium for anxiety works wonders. Greater magnesium intake plays a major role in reducing feelings of panic and fear. A suitable dosage for the supplements must be ascertained before selecting from the best magnesium supplements.

[Also Read: Drive Out Anxiety and Stress with Supplements]

Your body absorbs only 6mg out of a 250mg dose of magnesium. 6.5% magnesium is present in magnesium malate however almost the entire quantity is absorbed by the body.

Magnesium citrate is 16% bioavailable and is absorbed by the body quickly. It can be taken in powder form or as a capsule, or liquid supplement.

Magnesium sulfate and oxalate can lead to diarrhea if additional quantities of the wrong form are taken at once. Good sources of magnesium include magnesium salts, citrate, magnesium threonate, gluconate or citrate, magnesium aspartate, and magnesium hydroxide.

Equally effective options include creams and magnesium oil. Side effects include abdominal pain, gastrointestinal issues however this is normally associated with magnesium citrate and oxide which are the laxative forms of magnesium.


1. What Type of Magnesium Is Ideal for Anxiety?

Magnesium glycinate deals with the symptom of anxiety and assists in relaxation. It also alleviates insomnia. The amino acid glycine also assists in the bioavailability of magnesium. This is possibly the reason why glycinate is the most useful and widespread supplement of magnesium for anxiety.

2. What Is the Suggested Dosage of Magnesium for Anxiety?

Magnesium supplements for anxiety have a recommended dosage. In the US this is around 400 – 420mg for men whereas for women it is 310 – 320mg.

3. Is Magnesium for Anxiety Actually Beneficial?

As it is a nervous system relaxant, magnesium greatly assists with anxiety. This mineral also deals with restlessness, panic, and irritability. Create calmness and relax the tension within your body with this health supplement.

Magnesium offers a huge benefit as it is convenient to acquire and is quite safe too. However, it is always advisable to have a word with your general practitioner prior to starting any magnesium supplement or before initiating dietary changes particularly if you are on any medication.

This is to avoid side effects of interaction with medications if you are taking antibiotics, diabetic or blood pressure medications. Remember that taking more than the recommended dosage of 350 mg per day of magnesium for anxiety can lead to magnesium overdose.

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