The mental mineral that can make your brain younger

iStock_000000645882_MediumFrom the OmniVista Health Learning News Desk

New research shows that magnesium deficiency in adults may play a significant role in the development of dementia. And a recent study found that giving magnesium to lab animals in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease reduced their cognitive impairment. In fact, it even restored their aging brains to a more youthful condition.

Adequate levels of magnesium in the body appear to prevent the loss of brain synapses. Which are critical for memory and other mental functioning.

Another recent clinical trial on humans found that study participants who took magnesium had significantly better cognitive function and decreased symptoms of cognitive impairment than people who didn’t.

Dairy, eggs, and meat are rich dietary sources of magnesium, and leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains also contain the mineral. But your body only absorbs about 30 to 40 percent of the magnesium you eat. Consequently, researchers estimate that as much as 68 percent of U.S. adults are magnesium deficient.

There are other factors that also deprive you of this much-needed mineral. While drinking coffee and organic green tea in moderation can have health benefits, the caffeine can contribute to magnesium depletion. And as you grow older, your body can lose its magnesium stores.

So a good magnesium supplement may be the best way to make sure you’re getting enough of this important mineral.  Look for a supplement that has 200 to 400 mg of magnesium.

Sources:

“Elevation of Brain Magnesium Prevents and Reverses Cognitive Deficits and Synaptic Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model.” Journal of Neuroscience 2013; 33(19): 8423

“Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels”, Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2005; 24(3): 166-171