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Magnesium improves brain plasticity to ease anxiety and boost cognition

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by: John Phillip
Tags: magnesium, cognition, health news

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(NaturalNews) Magnesium is an essential mineral required to perform more than 300 critical biochemical enzymatic reactions within the human body. Optimal circulating magnesium levels are well known to promote cardiovascular health. Emerging evidence published in The Journal of Neuroscience explains the importance of this mineral to promote proper electrical and neurotransmitter function in the brain.

Researchers have found that magnesium is necessary to dissipate the effects of traumatic stress that can occur from intense episodes of fear or anxiety. Writing in the journal Magnesium Research, scientists posit that optimal levels of the mineral may support energy-generating functions that control storage and retrieval of memories. Many health-minded individuals will want to supplement with magnesium to help prevent cognitive decline and improve brain plasticity to better deal with stress and anxiety.

Anxiety disorders, including phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder, are among the most common mental maladies. This has led researchers on a quest to find non-pharmaceutical therapies to provide relief for these conditions that result in countless hours of lost productivity in the workplace and that cause billions to be spent on useless prescription medications.

Magnesium Improves Memory Formation and Aids Normal Thought Processing

Researchers from the Center for Learning and Memory, School of Medicine at the University of Texas in Austin found that elevating brain levels of magnesium can help undo the bad programming from prior stress experiences by helping to create new brain response patterns not influenced by fear or anxiety. Researchers included supplemental magnesium to a cohort of volunteer participants and found that elevated brain magnesium was able to induce the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a compound used by the brain to rejuvenate cellular function.

The scientists concluded that increased magnesium levels led to an increase in synaptic plasticity that allowed the learned fear response to become altered. Fear and anxiety create obstacles that interfere with the quality of life and the willingness to do new things. Moderating the effects of intense and ongoing fear and of anxiety improve quality of life, healthy cognition and memory development.

Additional evidence supporting the importance of magnesium from proper diet or supplementation demonstrates that the mineral is critical to the process of making ATP (the cellular unit of energy) as well as of enabling the vital functions of cellular DNA and RNA. When magnesium levels are diminished, the final stages of energy production do not proceed efficiently. This leads to low brain energy output and may be a precursor to degenerative conditions including Alzheimer's dementia. Nutrition experts recommend supplementing with magnesium daily (300 to 500 mg) to improve cognition and to alleviate the effects of stress and anxiety.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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