Low Magnesium Tied to Mental Health Issues

Low Magnesium Tied to Mental Health Issues

Research suggests that Low Magnesium may be tied to mental health disorders. Magnesium is a mineral that plays a vital role in many processes within the body. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body that include creating protein and neurotransmitters, proper muscle and nerve function, blood pressure and glucose control, the production of energy and bone development. Magnesium is also required to create DNA and RNA and antioxidants such as glutathione. Our bodies cannot function without magnesium. (1)

Mental Health Disorders and Low Magnesium

Magnesium helps to control the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Low dopamine and serotonin levels are associated with depression. Studies have shown that magnesium can reduce the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. (2)

Research has shown that patients with depression and anxiety have much lower levels of magnesium compared to healthy individuals. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (3) found that participants with depression had significantly lower levels of magnesium than those without depression. In another study published in the Journal of Women’s Health (4), women with low magnesium levels were more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety. Magnesium’s ability to reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Low Magnesium in the Modern Diet

The amount of magnesium in the modern diet has been decreasing for decades. One reason for this is secondary to modern farming practices. The high use of chemical fertilizers in industrialized farming methods depletes magnesium in the soil. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that between 1950 and 1999, the magnesium content in vegetables declined by almost 80% (5).

The modern diet is also high in processed foods, refined sugar and alcohol. High sugar intake leads to magnesium excretion from the kidneys which can decrease total body magnesium levels. High caffeine intake from coffee and tea act as mild diuretics which can lead to more excretion of magnesium from the kidneys.

Other factors that led to low magnesium levels are medications such as antacids and diuretics. Chronic stress also leads to more magnesium being released into the blood and eventually being excreted by the kidneys. Magnesium initially plays a role in combating some of the negative side effects of stress. Chronic stress will lead to magnesium deficiency if not replaced by diet.

Magnesium Supplements Pros and Cons

There are several forms of magnesium available. Each have their own unique benefits and side effects.

  • Magnesium Oxide

The most common and cheapest form of magnesium available. It has an extremely low bioavailability meaning the body does not absorb it well.

  • Magnesium Citrate

Another popular form of magnesium with slightly better absorption than magnesium oxide. Magnesium citrate can sometimes cause diarrhea. It is commonly used in laxatives to treat constipation.

  • Magnesium Glycinate

This form of magnesium is gentler on the stomach and less likely to cause diarrhea. It is more easily absorbed than magnesium oxide.

  • Magnesium Threonate

This is a newer form of magnesium that has shown to have ability to cross the Blood brain barrier (protective tissues that surrounds the brain). It is commonly used for its cognitive enhancements and has shown to help improve memory and learning.

How Magnesium Helps with Mental Health Disorders Like Depression and Anxiety

There is evidence to show that magnesium intake may lead to improvements in mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. One study published in the journal of PLoS found that participants who received magnesium supplements experienced significant improvements in the depression symptoms compared to those who received placebo.

Magnesium can potentially increase the effect of Ketamine due to its ability to modulate the activity of the nmda receptor in the brain. This receptor is also targeted by Ketamine. There is some evidence that shows the coadministration of magnesium and Ketamine can lead to greater reduction and depressive symptoms along with better modulation of pain for individuals with chronic pain.

Magnesium and Ketamine Infusion Therapy in South Jersey

At Alternative Total Wellness, we provide one gram of IV magnesium with all Ketamine infusions. Magnesium has a very low side effect profile and is well tolerated. We strongly believe in the complementary action of magnesium with Ketamine and want the best results for you. Providing IV magnesium can potentially increase the effectiveness of Ketamine leading to long lasting relief from your depression and anxiety.

Want to learn more about how magnesium and Ketamine therapy can help with depression and anxiety? Our knowledgeable and caring team is available to answer all your questions. Contact us at (856) 334-0080 or online HERE.


  1. Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, Tucker KL, Ziegler TR, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Baltimore, Mass: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:159-75.
  2. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015;28(2):249-256. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2015.02.140176
  3. Tarleton EK, Kennedy AG, Rose GL, Crocker A, Littenberg B. The Association between Serum Magnesium Levels and Depression in an Adult Primary Care Population. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 28;11(7):1475. doi: 10.3390/nu11071475. PMID: 31261707; PMCID: PMC6683054.
  4. Debora Porri, Hans K. Biesalski, Antonio Limitone, Laura Bertuzzo, Hellas Cena, “Effect of magnesium supplementation on women’s health and well-being, NFS Journal, Volume 23, 2021, Pages 30-36, ISSN 2352-3646, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nfs.2021.03.003.
  5. Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(6):669-682. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719409