Magnesium for Depression

There are many amazing Health Benefits of Magnesium and a magnesium deficiency can cause many health issues, including anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Learn about how to use Magnesium for Depression treatment and prevention to feel better today.

magnesium for depression

Magnesium for Depression

Magnesium is an essential mineral, one of the four main electrolytes that help regulate fluid and electrolyte balance. It is also a necessary cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. For example, magnesium is needed for DNA and RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, bone development, muscle contraction, and a host of other biological processes. Magnesium is found naturally in various foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Does magnesium reduce depression?

Magnesium can help improve your mood by reducing stress and anxiety. Here are the several ways that magnesium can help to reduce depression:

Increase of serotonin and dopamine. Magnesium plays a vital role in synthesizing serotonin and dopamine, which are two neurotransmitters responsible for elevating our mood. So, if we have sufficient magnesium levels, we will enjoy increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, thus resulting in a better mood.

Pump up your energy level. Magnesium is needed when it comes to converting blood sugar into energy. Having low magnesium levels can result in fatigue and tiredness while having adequate levels can make you energetic.

It lowers your stress level. It is essential that you take regular breaks from work to rejuvenate your mind and body. Magnesium reduces stress levels, thus helping you relax after a long day at work or even after taking care of the kids. If you want to relieve your stress, try taking a warm bath and adding some magnesium oil drops to it.

Why is magnesium good for depression?

Magnesium may help treat depression by improving sleep quality, reducing stress, and managing anxiety. Magnesium also works as an antidepressant, providing immediate mood-boosting effects for several weeks of daily supplementation.

How Magnesium Works as an Antidepressant

Magnesium’s ability to stabilize mood is due to its action on various brain chemicals. It’s believed that low magnesium levels disrupt the production and function of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate moods and emotions. A 2011 study found that magnesium supplementation can increase serotonin production by 30 percent or more, which may lift depression symptoms quickly. Low magnesium levels have also been connected to low histamine levels in the brain — histamine is another neurotransmitter that regulates sleep cycles and feelings.

What is the best time to take magnesium?

The best time to take magnesium supplements depends on which form you take. For example, if you take a chelated form of magnesium like magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate, then taking them with a meal will help in proper absorption. The reason for this is that stomach acid helps in breaking down the supplement into absorbable particles. 

The best time to take non-chelated forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide or magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) would be around 2 hours before bedtime. This is because, at night, our bodies are producing less stomach acid due to being in a relaxed state.

What kind of magnesium is best for depression and anxiety?

There are many forms of magnesium available, so let’s look at which type is best for depression and anxiety.

Magnesium L-Threonate is the most bioavailable form of magnesium in supplement form. It’s essential when dealing with anxiety and depression because it restores NMDA’s vital chemicals within the brain. Specific brain cells degenerate without sufficient NMDA, resulting in mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Magnesium L-Threonate is believed to improve symptoms by helping to restore the NMDA receptors in the brain tissue, which have been reduced due to stress or aging.

Magnesium Glycinate is another excellent form of magnesium for anxiety and depression. It helps eliminate symptoms for a number of reasons. First, it supports a healthy nervous system by providing much-needed relaxation to overworked muscles and nerves. This can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and melatonin.

How much magnesium should I take a day?

The recommended daily amount of magnesium for adults is 400 mg for women and 420 mg for men. However, a higher dose of 1,000 mg per day may help improve your symptoms if you are experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety or depression.

How long does it take for magnesium to start working?

It depends. The body already has stores of magnesium and phosphorous, which are both bone-building elements. The body uses magnesium in the production of energy, too.

Taken with food, it can take up to six months for the body to absorb enough magnesium for the person to feel any benefits.

With supplementation, a person can feel relief faster since levels of other nutrients may be low as well. If a patient is deficient in zinc or B vitamins, there can be a faster improvement in symptoms.

To get relief quickly, take 200-300mg daily for the first month with food and then increase to 400mg daily after that. It is best to take it at night since the body uses more magnesium while it sleeps.

If you are suffering from symptoms of depression, consider trying magnesium supplements. They could provide relief for you and have very few side effects. However, If you’re still struggling with depression, you should consider visiting a doctor. They will be able to determine the root cause of your symptoms to get the proper treatment.


Serefko, A., Szopa, A., Wlaź, P., Nowak, G., Radziwoń-Zaleska, M., Skalski, M., & Poleszak, E. (2013). Magnesium in depression. Pharmacological reports : PR65(3), 547–554.

Held, K., Antonijevic, I. A., Künzel, H., Uhr, M., Wetter, T. C., Golly, I. C., Steiger, A., & Murck, H. (2002). Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry35(4), 135–143.

Hornyak, M., Voderholzer, U., Hohagen, F., Berger, M., & Riemann, D. (1998). Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study. Sleep21(5), 501–505.

Tarleton, E. K., Littenberg, B., MacLean, C. D., Kennedy, A. G., & Daley, C. (2017). Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PloS one12(6), e0180067.

Eby GA, Eby KL, Murk H. Magnesium and major depression. In: Vink R, Nechifor M, editors. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011.

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  1. This was enlightening.
    I take magnesium and I definitely notice an improvement in my mood. When I run out, Mama ain’t happy, plus I get super constipated.

    I think I take the Mg lysinate glycinate chelate. I have not heard of the other from that you mentioned. I probably need to up my dosage since I take about 400 mg/day.

    Thanks for this!

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  2. I did not know any of this! This is great info. I found you over on Ducks ‘n a Row’s link party. I’d love for you to come share on my brand-new link party (in its second week) called Crafty Creators on It’s open Thursdays at 6am CST thru Mondays at 11:59pm. You can share 5 posts, no rigid rules. I think my readers would love this. I have another link party that’s been open for years that you can share on as well, Happiness is Homemade, while you’re there. Hope to see you!
    Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife

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