Magnesium is an important nutrient for preventing Alzheimer’s disease

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brain-scan(NaturalHealth365) According to the CDC, more than 16 million older Americans suffer from cognitive impairment – a condition that is gradually stealing their memories and interfering with daily functioning. And the problem – which many experts say has reached “epidemic” levels – is expected to worsen exponentially as a generation of “baby boomers” approach their senior years with ever-increasing exposure to environmental toxins and nutrients deficiencies like, magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency, widespread in the United States, is drawing researchers’ interest as a possible contributor to age-related cognitive dysfunction. Scientists have long known, Alzheimer’s disease patients almost always show decreased serum and brain magnesium levels.

In fact, emerging studies suggest that magnesium deficiency in adults plays a much larger role in cognitive impairment, and in Alzheimer’s disease, than has been previously suspected.  The good news?  With promising results in clinical and animal studies, magnesium seems poised to play a major role in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment.

The surprising truth about the prevalence of magnesium deficiency

In 2013, Dr. Peter Osborne, a doctor of chiropractic and board-certified clinical nutritionist, reported that roughly 50 million Americans are magnesium deficient. Dr. Osborne attributes the deficiencies to insufficient dietary intake, the overuse of magnesium-draining coffee and caffeinated beverages, and magnesium loss through normal aging – a “triple whammy” where magnesium levels are concerned.

Environmental toxins, fluoride in drinking water, and crops grown in magnesium-depleted soil also contribute to the grim picture.

Magnesium can protect the brain and help us age gracefully

After we reach age 25, the brain begins to shrink. The loss in brain volume becomes more pronounced as we age, resulting in structural and functional changes – along with cognitive and memory problems.

Our brains depend on synaptic plasticity – or flexibility – to retrieve memories, but this function becomes compromised when synaptic connections in the memory portion of the hippocampus decline with age. In the most dramatic and poignant example of this process, Alzheimer’s disease patients lose so many connections that their memories fade, and eventually disappear completely. Even milder forms of cognitive impairment can affect memory, language, perception, judgment and the ability to plan and perform tasks.

Magnesium, an essential mineral vital to proper brain function, may be the key to treating age-related cognitive impairment. In fact, many integrative healthcare providers insist that magnesium can rebuild broken synapses, restore worn-out neuronal connections and help reverse memory loss.

Magnesium boosts brain power: What does the research show?

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and helmed by Dr. Guosong Liu, one of the world’s foremost researchers in the area of cognitive health, a patented magnesium threonate formulation significantly enhanced human cognitive function while decreasing impairment.

For the study, 44 adults between age 50 and 70 with self-reported memory loss and sleep disorder were divided into two groups, with one group given 25 mg. of magnesium threonate per day and one given only placebo.

The magnesium group experienced significant improvements in cognitive function, and Dr. Lui reported that magnesium increases brain synapse density, while helping to improve and restore cognitive abilities.

Encouraging results echoed in animal studies

In a study published in PLoS One in 2014, injections of magnesium sulfate significantly improved synaptic efficacy and prevented memory and learning impairments in rats with a form of laboratory-induced Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers suggested that magnesium treatment in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease could decrease the risk of cognitive impairment.

Interestingly, high levels of aluminum in brain neurons are linked with Alzheimer’s disease. Magnesium has been shown to help remove heavy metals from the body – reinforcing the case for magnesium supplementation in older adults.

What’s the best way to take advantage of magnesium’s cognitive benefits?

You can increase your dietary intake of this vital mineral by eating organic foods such as green leafy vegetables, nutritious whole grains, delicious cocoa and dark chocolate. Other appetizing options are tasty pumpkin seeds, squash, sesame and sunflower seeds, and snack-friendly tree nuts such as cashews and almonds.

As beneficial as it is to increase dietary intake of magnesium, you may decide supplementation is in order – especially if you are an older adult. Naturally, as we always suggest, you should always consult a trusted, medical professional about your health concerns to figure out what’s best for you.

One final thought: Even the CDC warns that a full 20 percent of people aged 55 and older can expect to experience some form of cognitive impairment – while one out of five people in the U.S. population will be older than 65 by the year 2030.

With these statistics in mind, it seems like an excellent idea to do everything you can to protect the brain with the natural healing power of magnesium.

Editor’s note: The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the finest quality magnesium supplement on the market.  Click here to order today.


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  • April Bennet

    I once hurt my head by going into a wall without paying attention. My healthcare provided recommended some vitamins and magnesium for me to take. He said magnesium was very important for anyone who wants to heal.

  • Edith Parker

    For the innumerable amount of people caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s I want to express my gratitude for articles such as this one. Having been a care giver I can tell you nutrition makes such a difference.

  • Toby Erickson

    This is such a simple thing to do to prevent or even reverse memory problems. I think this article is especially for seniors. What can be better than an easy way to preserve cognitive function.

    • John

      Actually, this is not such a simple issue. In fact, it is rare to see a nutritional article discussing deficiencies that talk about how the body works without pushing some supplement while ignoring the interactions of other nutrients and talking about the ability of the body to absorb the mineral. In many cases, the body becomes overwhelmed with a concentrated form of any nutrient and a negative reaction happens creating many problems for the body even from nutrients it needs.

  • John

    I am always amazed at articles like this that talk about nutritional deficiencies, but ignore the very basic idea that if you are not digesting the nutrient for some reason, taking the supplement, especially in excess is somehow going to help you. In fact, this is a huge flaw in most articles when referring to deficiencies experienced by many people. Magnesium competes with calcium for absorption in the body in the jejunum (upper part of the small intestine). The typical ratio established by mainstream nutritionist is 2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium, but the body makes the determination as to which is more important to absorb based on needs in the body. Calcium gets the advantage because it is the mineral that all other minerals take a back seat to.

    In order to absorb magnesium, the pH of the chyme coming from the stomach must have a pH in the range of 1.5 to 3.0 and that is VERY ACIDIC. If the pH is too high, no absorption can take place and now that magnesium that could not be absorbed can become a toxin the body has to remove. Taking large concentrated amounts to overcome a deficiency can result in magnesium toxicity unless the body can remove it. There are 3 buffering systems in the body and it is this low pH in the first process after the stomach dumping into the intestines that needs to happen. Herbivores do not make HCL in their stomachs for digestion, but humans do. This lowering of the pH by HCL is a sanitizing process and a protein breakdown process that also is necessary to create the Vitamin B-12 & intrinsic factor as well. As we age, we produce less and less of this HCL and processed foods use it up, so as you would imagine, as we age, this is when these deficiencies begin to happen.

    • Sandy

      Epsom Salts = magnesium sulfate. When dissolved in water, the magnesium and sulfur become available by transdermal absorption (through the skin). Your body absorbs as much magnesium and sulfur as it needs, and no more. Magnesium toxicity and “expensive urine” problem solved. Epsom salts is inexpensive and readily available at nearly every drug store [chemists for you Brits].

  • John

    Every prescription you take is a toxin that the body has to remove. 50% of all Alzheimer’s patients in Alzheimer’s clinics do NOT HAVE ALZHEIMER’s. Autopsies done are showing that 50% or more don’t have the markers for Alzheimer’s and the loss of memory is due to taking many prescription drugs and what they are calling now diabetes type 3. ALL prescription drugs prescribed by doctors are directed toward TREATING SYMPTOMS and have little to no nutritional value. This offends the immune system and especially DNA actions that are contrary to health building.

    Because doctors are not trained in root causes of degenerative diseases, they are also lacking in how the body works in relation to nutrients, interactions of nutrients one to the other. Relying on doctors that have little to no training in nutrition for nutritional advice is very unwise based on my personal experience in helping people with their nutritional needs, etc., researching neuro degenerative diseases, etc. and interfacing with doctors.

    Our bodies are not individual organs operating independently of each other, but a very interactive, integrated SYSTEM of components that work as a team. When you affect one part of the body to create a response or reaction, you are effecting other parts that upsets the balance. Typically the DNA is greatly involved in interacting with the immune system. Ignoring this is like adding water to your oil in your car and expecting your motor to run smoothly.

  • gowest0649

    John: Spot on brother! Low stomach acid, whether naturally occurring in older adults or fabricated by taking unnecessary Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) interferes with magnesium and B-12 assimilation, both of which are brain essential. A recent article in Life Extension Magazine also points to PPIs passing the blood brain barrier and interfering with the brain’s clean up cells ability to rid itself of dangerous beta-amyloid plaque. I believe the answer to dementia is discontinuing PPI supplementation and supplementing with betaine HCL with pepsin to restore proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

  • Judy

    Yes, foot and leg cramps are usually due to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium did take away some very painful foot cramps that I had.