Magnesium (MG) is a chemical element and alkaline earth metal, making up 13% of the mass of the planet.
Magnesium is also found in every cell the human body. In fact, it is the eleventh most abundant element by mass and its ions are essential to all living cells.
You may not think of Magnesium as a Nootropic, but scientists at MIT recently discovered a link between brain Magnesium levels and cognitive function. Increasing Magnesium can enhance working memory, facilitate synaptic plasticity, boost long-term memory formation and improve learning.
Magnesium is also useful in a Nootropic stack as it can prevent excitotoxicity which may occur when neurons are over-stimulated. If you are feeling agitated, restless or anxious when using nootropics, adding a Magnesium supplement can improve your results.
This supplement plays a major role in manipulating important biological compounds like ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes require Magnesium ions in order to function.
This supplement is also included in laxatives, antacids, and in other situations which require the stabilization of abnormal nerve excitation and blood vessel spasms is required (eclampsia treatments, for example). The supplement tastes sour and can even be used to provide a natural tartness to fresh mineral water.
Magnesium plays an essential role in neuroplasticity and ATP production which is fundamental to learning, memory and cognitive function.
Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral m deficiency. And most are unaware of this deficiency.
Magnesium in our diet comes from foods like green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, poultry, beef, and salmon. Tap, mineral and bottled water also used to be good sources of Magnesium. But varies by brand, source and if the Magnesium has been filtered out during processing.
Magnesium is an essential part of neuroplasticity. Brain plasticity is the ability of your neurons to make cell-to-cell connections to form and regulate learning and memory.
With aging, or insufficient Magnesium in our diet, we lose brain plasticity which results in a loss of cognitive function. This is why a young person, with an active, flexible brain easily catches new ideas. And simply thinks faster than a person whose brain has lost plasticity and is more fixed in their patterns.
Magnesium is also crucial to synthesizing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). The primary energy source for mitochondria in every one of your cells. Including the brain.
ATP must be bound to a Magnesium ion (Mg-ATP) in order to be biologically active. This is critically important to how your brain’s mitochondria and cells use ATP. Including the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
To put this in perspective, over 300 enzymes require the presence of Magnesium ions for their catalytic action. Including all enzymes utilizing ATP.
Magnesium is even involved in how the other nootropics in your stack are utilized by cells in your brain. The bottom-line is Magnesium could be one of the most important additions to any nootropic stack.How does Magnesium Work in the Brain?
Magnesium boosts brain health and function in several ways. But two in particular stand out.
1. Your brain is capable of forming new connections between neurons. When you take in new information, a signal is sent across the synaptic space between neurons. The ability of your brain to form these new connections is referred to as neuroplasticity.
This neuroplasticity is how learning and memories are formed. When these signaling pathways break down, memories fade. And you start to forget simple things like people’s names or phone numbers.
A simple example of how this works is reading this article. As you read this, your brain is forming and reforming new neural connections. When things aren’t optimal, you find yourself reading and re-reading sentences.
Magnesium is critical for maintaining this neuroplasticity. And your ability to learn and form memories. Magnesium ions control the ion channels, or electrical switches for this signaling.
The more signals that these ion channels transmit, the stronger the connections between neurons. And the stronger the formation of the resulting memory.
Many studies demonstrate the detrimental impact of insufficient Magnesium on optimal cognitive function.
2. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is the main energy source for the mitochondria in brain cells. 20% of your body’s total ATP is located in your brain.
For ATP to be biologically active, it must be bound to a Magnesium ion (Mg-ATP). About two thirds of your brain’s energy budget is used to help neurons send signals to neighboring neurons. The remaining third is used for housekeeping, or cellular maintenance.
Wei Chen, a radiologist at the University of Minnesota Medical School was co-author of a study on the brain’s use of ATP. The team used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure the brain’s energy production during shifts in activity.
Their study on lab rats noted that when the rats were knocked out, they produced 50% fewer ATP molecules than when mildly anesthetized. Chen noted that the ATP produced when the brain is inactive, it goes to cell maintenance.This housekeeping is important for keeping the brain tissue alive.
The other two thirds are needed for other cellular processes including recharging neurons so they can fire. And create the electrical signals needed for neuron communication. Required for learning, memory, recall and cognition.
Without Magnesium, your brain cannot produce ATP, and all brain function breaks down.
As we get older, our brain chemistry and metabolism changes.
↓ Free radicals damage brain cell mitochondria
All of these changes can happen at any age. And can be a result of not getting an adequate supply of Magnesium.
So Magnesium supplementation can help for age-related cognitive decline, as well as anyone who wants to boost cognition, learning, recall and memory.
Magnesium plays a critical role in supporting neuroplasticity which is fundamental for a youthful, flexible brain. A brain that is optimized to support cognition, learning and memory.
Raising brain Magnesium levels has been proven to restore neuroplasticity and improve cognitive function.
Magnesium deficiency has been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists have found that treatment with Magnesium-L-Threonate decreases β-amyloid deposits in the brain. And is able to rebuild signaling pathways in neurons helping to restore memory.
And Magnesium is required for ATP synthesis in brain cells. Providing the mental energy needed for cognition, memory, recall and learning.
Most neurohackers report an increased level of focus, energy, memory, and cognitive ability when supplementing with Magnesium.
You should also experience an improved quality of sleep. And have an overall improvement in mood.
One of most common reasons we use nootropics is to boost memory and mental energy. Memory loss drastically reduces quality of life. And simple brain fog makes it difficult to accomplish the simplest of tasks.
Research has shown that Magnesium is involved in memory, learning and cognition in several levels. And supplementing with Magnesium is one of the most fundamental things you can do to boost cognition.
Synapses in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain strengthen the more they’re used. Even brief repetitive activity results in a substantial increase in synaptic strength. The results can last for several hours. Or even weeks afterwards. This is called ‘long-term potentiation’.
Several studies have been conducted on Magnesium supplementation and its effects on memory in the last 20 years. With positive results. This study on ages and young rats found that adding Magnesium to their food improved learning.
Researchers have found Magnesium works in the hippocampus to suppress the release of the stress hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone). This is the hormone that tells your adrenal glands to release more cortisol and adrenaline.
Too much cortisol eventually damages the hippocampus in the brain. This causes a negative feedback loop which results in even more stress. Which is toxic to the brain and your entire body. And one of the causes of chronic depression.
A study was done with 5,708 people aged 46-49 and 70-74 years old in Norway. The aim of the study was to examine the association between Magnesium intake and depression and anxiety.
The researchers concluded that low Magnesium intake is related to depression. And they stated, “These findings may have public health and treatment implications.”
Another study done with 12 subjects found that Magnesium supplementation improved sleep and lowered the stress hormone cortisol. Concluding that Magnesium has “possible efficacy… as a mood stabilizer”.
Magnesium in the treatment of ADHD is becoming more mainstream. And there is a growing body of research that supports the idea that one of the factors causing ADHD is a lack of Magnesium.
A study in Poland showed that 95% of the children examined with ADD or ADHD were Magnesium deficient.
Magnesium is sold in as Magnesium Aspartate, Citrate, Lactate, Chloride and Magnesium L-Threonate.
Depending on the type of Magnesium; it comes in capsules, chewable tablets, powder, extended release tablets, or in a liquid solution.
A more bioavailable form of Magnesium is now available. Magnesium-L-Threonate (MgT) is patented and is called MagteinTM.
Magnesium-L-Threonate easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. And is recommended if you’re adding Magnesium to your stack.