Magnesium plays an important role in brain cell functioning. A form known as magnesium L-threonate, previously found to be exceptionally good at increasing brain magnesium levels, may be the best supplement for improving brain function. Research published in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that the mineral may effectively treat memory loss and cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists from the Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing made some remarkable discoveries while researching the effects of magnesium L-threonate on the brain. It’s the first study to demonstrate a mechanism for reversing cognitive decline in mice with advanced stage Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also the first research to show an effective long-term treatment for mice with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
In mice with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers showed that supplementation with magnesium-L threonate prevented cognitive impairment and that the effect lasted for at least 16 months. Even more remarkably, mice with advanced stage Alzheimer’s disease showed significant improvements in memory and cognition.
The investigators determined in earlier studies that magnesium L-threonate, a form of magnesium chelated to the compound L-threonate, seems to be the best magnesium supplement for increasing brain levels of this important mineral. Most other forms of magnesium commonly found in supplements do not efficiently cross the blood brain barrier and thus don’t substantially increase levels of magnesium in the brain. Even intravenous magnesium, according to the researchers, is not very effective at getting magnesium into the brain.
The team’s previous research found that not only does magnesium L-threonate effectively cross the blood brain barrier and increase brain magnesium levels, supplementation with this form of magnesium enhances the connections (synapses) between brain neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain region where memories are processed. Profound loss of synapses is a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment. Earlier research also showed that magnesium-L-threonate reversed memory decline in aging rats without Alzheimer’s, indicating it may also be the best magnesium supplement for improving milder forms of memory loss associated with aging.
The latest study in Alzheimer’s mice shows that not only does supplementation with magnesium L-threonate prevent the loss of synapses between neurons, it reduces beta amyloid plaques and prevents memory decline. Strikingly, magnesium L-threonate treatment was effective even when given to the mice at the end stage of their Alzheimer’s progression.
The great majority of adults fail to obtain adequate magnesium from their diets. Failing to eat enough magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, and green vegetables can lead to low magnesium levels in the brain and result in memory problems or even mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Even in those who do get adequate magnesium, increasing brain levels through supplementation may enhance memory and prevent cognitive decline.
Whether magnesium L-threonate is truly the best magnesium supplement for memory loss and other brain-related issues remains to be seen. Human studies are underway. Certainly, it is a safe form of magnesium to try now, even before human studies are in. It is manufactured by the company Magceutics under the brand name Magtein. It can be purchased directly from Magceutics or from many other supplement manufacturers, including Life Extension, Jarrow Formulas, Doctor’s Best, Pure Encapsulations, and many others. The recommended dose is two grams per day, one gram (1000 mg) in the afternoon and another gram in the evening.
Increasing brain magnesium levels is only one of many potential natural treatments for memory issues and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues around the world. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease. The scientific name for prion disease is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.