Magnesium deficiency can result in anxiety. There are several reasons for this but the main one is that we tend to produce more adrenaline when we are magnesium deficient and more adrenaline equals more anxiety.
But the relationship between magnesium and anxiety is more complex than that. Magnesium is something of a “wonder” nutrient, performing more than three hundred critical roles in our bodies. Many of those roles can actually aid anxiety and keep us calmer. For example magnesium is important for relaxing muscles. The easier it is to relax our bodies the less anxiety we will have.
There is no doubt that we all need to get sufficient magnesium into our bodies. The fact is that several generations ago people got more magnesium naturally through their diet. Convenience and Fast food is often low on magnesium so obviously eating more natural and whole foods will go some way to increasing your magnesium intake, and this is an important part of an anti-anxiety diet. But, some people argue that there is still not enough magnesium available in a healthy diet. It’s not just diet that has changed over the generations, its farming practices as well. Intensive farming has robbed the soil of nutrients like magnesium, so even organic food doesn’t have enough.
So if you ave a magnesium deficiency that is linked to anxiety then supplements might be your only option.
Correcting a magnesium deficiency takes time. I have heard people say that they felt better after three days, but I suspect this is the placebo effect. Normally you would expect to wait three months at least before seeing any change in your anxiety.
There are lots of types of magnesium on the market, and choosing can be confusing. Typically, nutritional science hasn’t yet decided whcuh type is best. Generally, magnesium citrate is the one to go for, offering a good balance between cost, absorbency and side-effects.
Dose-wise I recommend using 2-300mg per day divided into at least two doses. If you find magnesium causes insomnia (some people do find it over-energizing) then take it earlier in the day.
Some books suggest higher doses, even as high as 6-800mg a day. I have it on good authority from a doctor that your body can’t absorb much beyond 300mg a day so I suggest saving your money and being patient for results!
Magnesium works with Calcium (Calcium is also important for anxiety) and you need to have both. If you supplement Magnesiums try and supplement at least as much Calcium. The ideal ratio of Magnesium to Calcium is much argued about, and I suspect that different ratios are correct for different people. If you feel you have a high calcium diet then you nay want to supplement less calcium or none at all.
If you are interested in the physical causes of anxiety then Killing Anxiety From The Roots will be of interest to you.