Magnesium for Anxiety

Stress and anxiety play a role in many health conditions and diseases. Stress can lead to a variety of heart and gut related conditions and it is one of the greatest challenges in the medical world, being so hard to quantify and measure. Combatting stress and anxiety is big business, there are countless, calming drinks, drugs, meditation techniques and even gadgets to help reduce stress. There is, however, an affordable and somewhat surprising “antidote” to dealing with stress and anxiety better that is available to anyone or may just mean a change in diet.

Magnesium, one of the most surprising minerals with far reaching medical and health benefits is fast proving itself as one of the best combatants for anxiety and stress. Our bodies actually store large amounts of magnesium and use it up in stressful situations so anything that drains our magnesium stores can result in less magnesium left to deal with stressful situations.

Magnesium has earned itself a reputation of being a calming mineral. Studies have shown it to be a highly effective supplement and the results from tests in controlling or reducing stress and anxiety in a wide spectrum of subjects is conclusive. But how does magnesium control stress and anxiety?

Here are five known ways:

Blood Sugar

Modern diets and stressful lifestyles are recognised to be leading causes of blood sugar imbalances, leading to a variety of chronic diseases. Growing numbers of people have fluctuating blood sugar levels which lead to everything from hormone imbalances to weight gain, to fatigue, all of which can add to anxiety.

People can become irritated after a meal when their blood sugar fluctuates, and can feel shaky, dizzy and frustrated. The medical term for this is hypoglycaemia, or otherwise known as “hangry”.

Adequate levels of magnesium in the diet or through supplementation has been proven to reduce the levels of blood sugar fluctuation and in doing so combats stress and anxiety.

Inflamed Brain

Magnesium is a highly effective anti-inflammatory and introducing it into the system as a supplement or through a better diet reduces various types of inflammation. A common cause of anxiety in people is brain inflammation, there could be any number of reasons for this so it is worthwhile seeking medical advice. However, to reduce brain inflammation and consequently lower levels of anxiety, magnesium shows significant results.

GABA Levels

Neurotransmitters in the brain are the chemicals that control much of our mood. There are two neurotransmitters in particular that are associated with anxiety, glutamate and GABA. GABA is the neurotransmitter that tells us to chill whereas glutamate puts us on edge and focused.

Over anxious people have higher levels of glutamate and are therefore tenser and more anxious. To counter this magnesium in the diet increases  GABA levels where excess glutamate is not naturally converted to GABA. Magnesium triggers the right reaction and anxiety starts to drop.


Depression is a close cousin to anxiety and in many cases of anxiety, depression, even mild, is present. Magnesium is effective against both anxiety and depression. Lowering brain inflammation and balancing blood sugars help with both depression and anxiety, however one of the keys is to be able to control serotonin levels in the brain to trigger happy feelings. Magnesium has proven to be highly effective at this and has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin produced and thus alleviate anxiety.

Heavy Metals

It is all about brain inflammation, knowing what causes the brain to become inflamed is where using magnesium for anxiety makes sense. Excess heavy metals in the brain such as lead, mercury and aluminum are known to cause inflammation and inflammation in turn triggers anxiety. Magnesium is used in the body to clean out unhealthy heavy metals. Should there be a lack of magnesium the heavy metal cleaning process becomes less effective and thus anxiety can increase. Adding magnesium to the diet can change this.

Magnesium Information

For more everything you need to know about magnesium and magnesium supplements, check out our comprehensive information page here.

Magnesium Information


We’ve created a magnesium supplement with a combination of three types of highly absorbable magnesium at a therapeutic dose. Our magnesium comes as an easy to mix, great tasting powder to ensure optimal absorption. To learn more about our magnesium, check out the product page here.

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Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM

Dr Ron Goedeke, specialises in alternative and functional medicine. He is a foundation member of the New Zealand college of Appearance medicine and has been a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging medicine since 1999. With over 20 years of experience in the anti-aging field, Dr Ron Goedeke is recognized as one of New Zealand’s leaders in this new and growing field of medicine.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read on this website.

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