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Magnesium and Brain Health

Potential Roles of Magnesium in Brain Decline and Injury

Magnesium might play other, yet-undefined, roles in brain health. A systematic review recently determined that in comparison to healthy and medical illness controls, the magnesium levels in those with Alzheimer's disease was significantly lower in cerebrospinal fluid and in hair (p<0.05) even though there was no difference in serum magnesium levels.

Another study found that based upon the National Health Research Institute Database of Taiwan that those that had used magnesium oxide were less likely to develop dementia. They further adjusted their data to compensate for various factors including age, gender, geography and economic variation, and they still found that the relationship to magnesium held true.

Furthermore, a study published in The Indian Journal of Neurotrama reported that magnesium decline is likely to play a role in the pathogenesis of traumatic brain injuries. The researchers found that those who were administered magnesium sulfate within 12 hours of their injury had a much greater chance of a favorable outcome with no observed significant adverse effects.

Numerous scientific studies demonstrate that magnesium has multiple roles in normal brain health and function. However, magnesium must enter the brain and cross the blood brain barrier in order to support normal brain function. According to a study led by M.N. Ghabriel and R. Vink, "Magnesium is able to cross the blood brain barrier and is transported via the barrier with the net flux from the blood in the parenchyma. Active magnesium transport from the blood to the extracellular fluid of the brain is evidenced by its higher concentration in the cortical extracellular fluid than its concentration in the plasma-dialysate or cisternal CSF. The amount of magnesium that crosses the blood brain barrier is a reflection of the amount of magnesium absorbed. To ensure that there is adequate magnesium absorbed, it stands to reason that adequate magnesium must be consumed.

Unfortunately, according to recent reports, about 50 percent of the United States population consume less than the daily requirement of magnesium from their diets. If the diet is inadequate for magnesium content, a dietary supplement containing magnesium may be warranted to support normal brain health.

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