Magnesium is classified as “an essential mineral for human nutrition.” And, many people just don’t get enough of it. There are some serious consequences of magnesium deficiency, including low serotonin. Which means, a lack of magnesium can make you sad. Helping to regulate your mood, magnesium and serotonin have an impact on your physiology in ways you might not have realized.
The mighty Magnesium
Found in dark leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, magnesium supports critical muscle and enzyme functions and protein production. Magnesium also assists in the conversion of the amino acid, tryptophan, into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Excessive alcohol or poor nutrition can lead to magnesium deficiency, which in turn can reduce serotonin levels.
Serotonin, the chemical messenger
The Hypoglycaemic Health Association of Australia says serotonin “conveys positive sensations of satiety, satisfaction and relaxation” signals from the brain to the body. Helping to regulate appetite, serotonin also influences sleep cycles. Low levels of serotonin can lead to depression, eating and sleep disorders and is also suspected to contribute to migraine headaches. Serotonin levels are very low during a migraine, and may be the origin of the throbbing pain, nausea, vision and speech distortions experienced by migraine sufferers.
Migraine sufferers have low blood magnesium levels
Magnesium is a logical treatment for migraine, if the theoretical connection between serotonin and migraine is accurate. Conclusions from numerous studies, looking at links between magnesium levels and migraine frequency and intensity, indicated high dosage of magnesium is effective against the debilitating, chronic affliction.
The recommended magnesium dosage per day for an adult male is at least 400mg and for women, it’s at least 310mg per day. While naturally abundant in a variety of foods, oral magnesium supplements can boost an insufficient dietary intake. Topical magnesium oils and creams are an effective way to supplement intake to ensure good mood and healthy appetite from day to day.