-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
Did you know that even while living in an industrialized country with east access to healthy food and nutritional supplements, magnesium deficiency is very common?
According to a new study done by Tel Aviv University suggest that magnesium, which is a key nutrient for the functioning of the memory, may be critical for neurons of children and healthy brain cells in aging adults.
Their research began at MIT and evolved to become a multi-center experiment. It focused on a new magnesium supplement called magnesium-L-theronate, which effectively crosses the blood-brain barrier to inhibit calcium fluz in brain neurons. The new study found that the synthetic magnesium compound works fro both young and aging animals to enhance memory or prevent its impairment. The research has significant implications for the use of over-the-counter magnesium supplements
The study was conducted over a five year period with two groups of rates that ate normal diets containing a healthy amount of magnesium from natural sources. The first group was given a supplement of MgT and the second control group had only its regular diet. Through behavioral tests the first group of rats demonstrated an improvement in cognitive functioning and had an increase of synapses in the brain- connective nerve endings that carry memories in the form of electrical impulses from one part of the brain to the other.
“We are really pleased with the positive results of our studies,” says Dr. Slutsky. “But on the negative side, we’ve also been able to show that today’s over-the-counter magnesium supplements don’t really work. They do not get into the brain.”
Though the effects were not immediate, the researchers of the study were able to assesses that the new compound show improved permeability of the blood-brain barrier. After only two week of oral administration of the compound in mice, magnesium levels in the cerebral-spinal fluid increased.
“Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but today half of all people in industrialized countries are living with magnesium deficiencies that may generally impair human health, including cognitive functioning.”
The new compound is not commercially available currently, but Dr. Slutsky advises people to get their magnesium the old-fashioned way, which is by eating lots of green leaved, broccoli, almonds, cashews and fruits. The effects will not appear overnight, she cautions, but with persistent change in diet over a long period of time, memory should improve and the effects of dementia and other cognitive impairment diseases related to aging may be considerably delayed.