Blogs By Gerard Guillory

  • Magnesium: An Underappreciated Nutrient for Brain Health
  • Gerard Guillory

Magnesium: An Underappreciated Nutrient for Brain Health

Magnesium Deficiency is Common

About half of all Americans are deficient in magnesium. Low dietary intake, poor absorption, and excessive loss through urine or stool can all lead to deficiency. Excessive alcohol consumption depletes magnesium as well as many prescription medications. Because magnesium helps support more than 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body, even a slight deficiency can have far-reaching effects.

Magnesium is often thought of as the “great relaxer.”

 It relaxes the mind, the muscles, and the nerves. It is used to support insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps, and constipation. Magnesium is able to relax the smooth muscle of the arteries, to lower blood pressure, and the uterus, to reduce cramps. Now, research out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows us that magnesium is also absolutely critical for the health of the brain. It can improve short-term and long-term memory and reduce the risk of age-related memory loss.[1] This is where Brain Balance comes in.

Magnesium L-threonate Crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier

Brain Balance contains magnesium L-threonate, which is a form of magnesium that has come out of 10 years of research at MIT. Magnesium L-threonate is unique in its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and significantly increase magnesium in the central nervous system. When it enters the brain, magnesium works together with calcium to optimize nerve-to-nerve signaling at the spaces where nerve endings meet—spaces called synapses. Our ability to learn relies on our ability to quickly form new synapses and remove old ones, a trait called neuronal plasticity. Our ability to remember relies on the actual number of synapses present, a trait called synaptic density. The studies at MIT show that magnesium L-threonate effectively improves both neuronal plasticity and synaptic density—and therefore, both learning and memory. Magnesium L-threonate may also reduce the risk of age-related memory loss, and it may help people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[2],[3] 

Not all forms of magnesium are equal.

Only magnesium L-threonate has been shown to have a high affinity for the brain and have an effect on memory, learning, and cognitive function. There could be many reasons that you start to take magnesium, but if you choose to take it in the form of Brain Balance, a pleasant side effect just might be greater clarity and focus of your thoughts.

 [1] Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010;65(2):165-177.

[2] Li W, Yu J, Liu Y, et al. Elevation of brain magnesium prevents synaptic loss and reverses cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Mol Brain. 2014;765.

[3] Abumaria N, Yin B, Zhang L, et al. Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala. J Neurosci. 2011;31(42):14871-14881.


  • Gerard Guillory

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