Depression is a very serious mental illness that affects millions of people around the world. In the United States alone there are at least 16.2 million adults who have had at least one major depressive episode before.

Depression is the most common mental illness here in the United States and it comes in a many different forms. It is a hard illness to explain and can be different for each of us. Major/serious cases can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit a person’s ability to carry out activities in their daily lives.

While there are several treatment options available, some people do not respond to antidepressants and those people are normally forced to figure things out all on their own. That being said, a study published back in 2017 showed great promise in regards to using magnesium supplements for the treatment of depression. It was titled ‘Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial’ and was published in the journal PLOS One.

For this study, a twelve-week randomized trial was put into place. Researchers recruited participants through PCPs and began MgCl2 supplementation immediately or at week 7 depending on which group they were in. The goal was to help those with mild-to-moderate depression so the participants were 18 years of age or older and had not changed their depression treatment in the past 2 months.

This study included about 126 adults in outpatient primary care clinics and 38 percent of them were male. Positive effects were shown from using magnesium supplements within just two weeks and no one had any issues tolerating them. This meaning that they were quite effective and potentially comparable to the prescription SSRIs that doctors currently prescribe for this kind of thing.

The conclusion of this study is as follows:

Daily supplementation with 248 mg of elemental magnesium as four 500 mg tablets of magnesium chloride per day leads to a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression, or use of antidepressant medications. While the crossover design of this trial is robust in controlling for internal biases, it would be reassuring to see the results replicated in larger clinical trials that test long-term efficacy and provide additional data on subgroups. However, this efficacy trial showed magnesium supplements may be a fast, safe, and easily accessible alternative, or adjunct, to starting or increasing the dose of antidepressant medications.

While we do not yet know the long-term effects in time we will. I am sure more information will come about soon as more research will be done. This was the first randomized clinical trial looking at the effects of magnesium supplementation for use on those with depression. These results are quite promising and could benefit many.

There is no denying the need of new treatment forms for those with depression. This could be a serious step in the right direction! What do you think about all of this? Could magnesium be a safe and quick approach for those who cannot afford the other or for those who do not respond to them?

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