Crisis after crisis is what the entire world has to deal with because of COVID-19. While the infected was focused on how to cope up with the pandemic, the rest of the world made efforts in staying sane while on lockdown, without any income, and with no assurance of how the new normal would come about.
It’s undeniable that the psychological effect was plain traumatic as well as numbing. And this was felt by every global citizen considering how easy the virus can be transmitted. Not to mention the isolation that comes from social distancing while waiting every day for the number of deaths or new cases in the news. No question, that all of these could lead to depression.
But could it be just that?
The root cause of depression
Depression is due to many factors. Some of these main factors are abuse (past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse), certain meds, death or a loss, serious illnesses, and many more.
But while most of it is emotionally inclined and reflects a faulty coping mechanism, could there be any link to malnourishment as well? Sure, it may involve a deficiency in neurotransmitters but how about the nutritional deficiency, particularly, the ones involved in most of its biochemical reactions like magnesium?
In 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health concluded that an estimated 16.2 million adult Americans have experienced at least one episode of depression. To say it was an episode, it should have occurred for 2 weeks with no interest in anything and was consistently in a depressed mood. It should at least be with 4 other symptoms that hindered them from doing their usual daily routine or that altered their activities of daily living which are:
- lack of energy and drive
- a negative perception of self-image
- eating disorders
- loss of focus
- conversations paved to the topic of death
- suicidal attempts and tendencies
- unexplained migraines and general headaches
- back pain
- premenstrual syndrome
- heartburn, especially during panic attacks
- joint and muscle pain
- digestive issues
- exhaustion and fatigue despite the absence of prior activities
As you can see, a plethora of combinations can be honed from these factors making depression so complex that experts generally believed it’s a combination of biological differences, brain chemistry, genetic composition, inherited culture, and hormones. For the brain chemistry and hormones, in which magnesium has great impact.
Efficient or placebo?
Antidepressants have unwanted side effects. And while the best armour to battle coronavirus is a strong immune system, anything that will compromise it is uninvited. So any alternative is considered.
Magnesium is involved in the release of cortisol when the body goes under stress. It can be noted as the mineral that controls any excessive production of it. Since cortisol signals the body to relax from being stressed out, magnesium helps it maintain normal nerve and muscle function. As it aids it in performing normal physical activities, it facilitates it to produces endorphins and serotonin, also known as the happy hormones. Altogether, it prevents the body from getting fixated to the feeling of getting depressed.
However, this was continuously questioned as to the study that is supposed to prove this true was challenged with the fact that all of the 126 participants were told when they were to take the magnesium supplement or oils. Its effect could have been affected by hormonal affectation or biochemical alterations due to the feeling of anticipation alone. They opted not to have a placebo group.
In this regard, it was questionable whether and was a wasted opportunity to study and observe whether the best magnesium supplements could be useful in treating moderate depression.
Magnesium’s fantastic benefit
While there is a lot that magnesium can do for the body, one of the most helpful is promoting energy. And this is by helping people get a restful sleep. This way, the nervous system gets calm and anxiety is helped out and alleviated.
Considering these natural remedies, a magnesium supplement is worth trying. Just adhere to the recommended daily allowance of 310-420 mg for adults while considering age and gender. Dosage recommendations will depend on your needs such as ruling out depression. Many studies found positive effects with daily doses would be in the range of 125-2,500 mg.