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Magnesium: The mind mineral

James Greenblatt, M.D. and Kelly Heim, Ph.D.

Magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It ranks fourth as the most abundant mineral in the body, and second to potassium, is the most prevalent intracellular mineral. Its roles in brain function are diverse—it is essential for the neurotransmission that orchestrates mood, cognition, memory, sleep, relaxation and overall emotional well-being.1However, as the magnesium content of soil, water and the American food supply have declined considerably over the last 100 years, moderate deficiencies have become increasingly prevalent.2 According to the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, two thirds of American men and women fail to consume the recommended dietary intakes of 320 and 420 mg, respectively.3 In addition, accumulating evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency ramifies to many aspects of emotional wellness.

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