Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor, herbalist, naturopath, nutritionist, author and inventor who has worked within the health industry for more than three decades. In a recent blog post, Dr Carolyn Dean discussed her views on an article published in Medscape, which claimed that as many as one in six children in the US have some form of mental health disorder and only half of these were accessing treatment from a mental health professional. Dr. Dean explored how the article was based on a study that was not a controlled experiment and that did not look at how specific factors may have an impact on the numbers of children being diagnosed as having mental health disorders or treated for such. Dr. Dean goes on to state that the study is in the realm of speculation, promoting children being medicalized, without any mention of factors such as how nutrients and nutrition impact mental wellbeing. This links to an earlier post, where Dr. Dean discussed the health benefits of magnesium and the conditions that have been linked to magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium for Mental Health
Studies have shown that a deficiency in magnesium levels can be linked to an increased likelihood of suffering from anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. A diet that is low in magnesium can alter the types of bacteria in the gut, which can in turn trigger activity in the glands, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which control how people respond to stress. Magnesium intake has also been linked to quality of sleep. On average, women require 300mg of magnesium each day and men require 400mg.
The PDF attachment explores the benefits of good nutrition on mental health.
Calcium and Bone Health
Magnesium assimilates calcium into bones, which is vital for bone density. Optimal intake of magnesium has been associated with improved bone crystal formation, improved bone density and a lowered risk of developing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Without magnesium, the risk of arterial calcification from a high calcium intake is increased, as is the risk of kidney stones and cardiovascular disease.
In the infographic attachment, view some of the best food groups to choose to help increase the intake of magnesium.
Glucose and carbohydrate metabolism is affected by calcium intake, meaning people with a low intake of magnesium may be more susceptible to developing diabetes. There have been several studies that have shown reduced risk of diabetes where the intake of magnesium is higher. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes goes down by an estimated 15 percent for every increase in magnesium intake of 100mg daily. While further research is required before magnesium can be used routinely in patients with diabetes for glycemic control, lower levels of magnesium have been linked to lower insulin sensitivity and impaired insulin secretion.
Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of healthy muscles, which includes the heart. Magnesium also helps the body to transit electrical signals. A higher intake of magnesium is linked to a lower risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery calcification and abdominal artery calcification. Magnesium can be used as part of a treatment plan for abnormal heart rhythms and for congestive heart failure.
Magnesium has many more health benefits, including relief of the symptoms of migraine headaches and premenstrual syndrome. The amount of magnesium people absorb is affected by several factors. Learn more about the bioavailability of magnesium in the short video attachment to this post.