Magnesium Reduces Depression Symptoms

A new study published in Biological Trace Elements Research assessed whether magnesium intake could modulate (exert a modifying or controlling influence on, to regulate or temper) depressive symptoms.

Depressive symptoms are frequent in students and may lead to countless problems. Several hypotheses associate magnesium with depression because of the presence of this mineral in several enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters, which may play a key role in the pathological pathways of depression.

The aim of this study was to assess whether magnesium intake could modulate depressive symptoms.

A cross-sectional study was conducted on a convenience sample of 402 Iranian postgraduate students studying in Malaysia to assess the relationship between magnesium intake and depressive symptoms. The mean age of the participants was 32.54 ± 6.22 years.


The results of the study demonstrated an inverse relationship between magnesium intake and depressive symptoms, which persisted even after adjustments for sex, age, body mass index, monthly expenses, close friends, living on campus, smoking (current and former), education, physical activity, and marital status.

Expert Comments:

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND writes -  “A magnesium deficiency magnifies depression and stress. Serotonin, the feel good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function.  A person that is going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit that, if not corrected, can linger, causing depression and further health problems.”

Learn about the dangerous side effects of anti depression medications here.


Yary T, Aazami S, Soleimannejad K: Dietary intake of magnesium may modulate depression. Biol Trace Elem Res; 2013 Mar;151(3):324-9


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