Updated: Aug 2, 2019
While some people throw out the term “depressed” somewhat loosely, major depression is an all too common mental health disorder that effects millions. In fact, in 2016, an estimated 6.7% of all U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode. (1)
The evidence is pointing to YES.
Because magnesium is known for its ability to modulate mood, there have been several attempts to research the association between depression and magnesium levels. Unfortunately, many studies haven’t been conducted in a way that allows for a definite conclusion (poor methods, not enough subjects, etc.)
However, one promising study conducted in 2017 shows that magnesium supplementation can be helpful for patients diagnosed with depression. In the study, participants continued with their regular depression treatment and added 2000mg of magnesium chloride supplements to their daily routine for 6 weeks. (2)
The patients were interviewed over the course of the study, and their depression symptoms were measured on a scale. At the beginning of the study, the patients’ average on the scale registered as “moderately depressed.” Throughout the study, the mean depression score dropped a clinically significant average of 6 points, lowering the mean score of participants to a level categorized as “mild or minimally depressed.”(2)
When asked if they would continue magnesium supplementation after the conclusion of the study, more than 60% of the patients said yes. (2)
This study is quite encouraging for those looking for alternative methods for improving depression symptoms. Supplementing appears to work quickly, with patients noticing the positive effects after just two weeks of supplementing. The supplements were generally well tolerated (with few side effects) and equally effective regardless of age, sex, and other variables. (2)
Because magnesium has a hand in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, it makes sense that it also impacts multiple systems that have a hand in the development of depression. Magnesium can reduce stress hormones, inflammation, and anxiety which all are known to go hand-in-hand with a depression diagnosis. (3)
The next step is for researchers to work to replicate these results on a larger scale. But in the meantime, professionals in the mental health space can be encouraged by the inexpensive and safe approach to using magnesium to complement traditional depression treatments. (3)
If you’re interested in giving magnesium supplements a try for yourself, our topical magnesium supplements just might be for you. You can absorb magnesium chloride through the skin with our magnesium spray, or really take time for self-care with a warm magnesium bath using our Dead Sea flakes.
*This blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you think you are having symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor. If you are currently on medications and under the care of a physician, do not discontinue or adjust your medications without consulting your physician. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.