NL-030 - Magnesium and Cognitive Function in Older Adults
Magnesium is an incredibly versatile mineral that plays a key role in carrying out hundreds of biochemical reactions that keep your body functioning at its best. It is an excellent yet an extremely underrated mineral that keeps your body and mind healthy in a number of ways.
- Helps in energy production
- Synthesizes DNA and other proteins
- Regulates calcium levels
- Relaxes muscles and calms the nervous system
- Helps in healthy muscle contraction and nerve transmission
- Regulates stress hormones
- Helps you sleep better
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Improves depression and anxiety symptoms
- Keeps your bones healthy and strong
- Helps in detoxification
- Regulates blood pressure
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Helps in vitamin D absorption and utilization
Magnesium and cognitive function
Both magnesium and vitamin D deficiency can cause poor cognitive functions in older adults. Did you know magnesium plays an important role in how your body absorbs and uses Vitamin D? Taking mega doses of vitamin D can be futile without healthy levels of magnesium in the body.
Poor magnesium levels can negatively affect brain health and increase the risk of neurological disorders. Magnesium maintains healthy calcium levels in the brain, helps in healthy nerve transmission and protects neurons against excessive excitation, which increases the risk of neurological disorders. In addition, magnesium protects neurons from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.
Magnesium also helps in the production of main neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). While serotonin is a hormone that is well-known for its role in regulating mood, sleep, anxiety, behaviour and stress, GABA calms the nerves by regulating the action of glutamate.
Emerging studies hint that healthy levels of magnesium in the brain can help improve learning and memory. It has been found that magnesium plays a critical role in strengthening synaptic plasticity that improves learning and memory, and slows down cognitive decline that happens in old age. Synaptic plasticity is the ability of synapses (the gap or junction between neurons that allows them to pass signals from one neuron to another) to change its strength.Synaptic plasticity helps the brain to store information and create memories.
Ways to boost magnesium levels
Magnesium deficiency is quite common and symptoms such as painful muscle spasms, muscle weakness and low energy may indicate poor magnesium levels. Chronic deficiency can also cause constipation, painful cramps during menstrual cycles, tinnitus, acid reflux, and numbness in hands and feet. It is also associated with increased risk of migraine, chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Maintaining healthy levels of magnesium seems like a good move if you want to improve your overall health.
Magnesium is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, dark chocolate and whole grains. You can also take high quality magnesium supplements to prevent and reverse deficiency.