Tags: magnesium | better | memory | key nutrient | memory function | synthetic magnesium supplement | MgT

Remember Magnesium for a Better Memory

Monday, 29 March 2010 07:14 AM

If you're having more "senior moments," even if you're not a senior citizen, you may want to increase your intake of magnesium. Researchers have found that magnesium, a key nutrient in memory function, may be even more essential for healthy brains than previously thought. Unfortunately, even in industrialized countries, magnesium deficiencies are common.

Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine found that a new synthetic magnesium supplement, magnesium-L-theronate (MgT) crosses the blood-brain barrier and helps both young and aging animals to improve memory.

Two groups of rats were fed normal diets that included a healthy amount of magnesium. One group was also given MgT, while the other group served as the control. The first group showed an improvement in cognitive functioning, and also illustrated an increase of synapses in the brain — nerve endings that carry memories from one part of the brain to the other.

"We are really pleased with the positive results of our studies," Slutsky said in a statement. "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."

Another study conducted by neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing also found MgT improved the ability to learn as well as enhanced both short-term and long-term memory.

Researchers believe their discovery will help keep aging brains sharper. "Half the population of the industrialized countries has a magnesium deficit, which increases with aging," said researcher Guosong Liu, who was a researcher at MIT and is now at Tsinghua University. "If normal or even higher levels of magnesium can be maintained, we may be able to significantly slow age-related loss of cognitive function and perhaps prevent or treat diseases that affect cognitive function," Liu said in a statement.

Researchers believe only about 32 percent of Americans get the RDA of magnesium. The National Institutes of Health suggests a healthy man 31 years of age and older get 420 mg each day, and a healthy woman get 320 mg daily.

"Our results suggest that commercially available magnesium supplements are not effective in boosting magnesium in cerebrospinal fluid," Slutsky said. "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."

Until MgT becomes available, augment your magnesium levels by adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet. They include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, almonds, cashews, halibut, and soybeans.

© HealthDay

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If you're having more "senior moments," even if you're not a senior citizen, you may want to increase your intake of magnesium.
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Monday, 29 March 2010 07:14 AM
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