Healthy Outlook – OCTOBER 2017 – magnesium-L-threonate
Memory and Magnesium
There have been several studies that suggest that increasing your intake of magnesium, an essential mineral found in dark leafy vegetables and certain fruits, beans, and nuts, may help combat memory lapses associated with aging.
Magnesium Deficiency: An Overlooked Cause of Neurologic Decay
Half of all aging individuals in the developed world are magnesium deficient, a nutritional deficit that worsens over time. Confirmatory data show that Americans are no exception. For instance, American women consume just 68% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Magnesium has long been known as a key nutrient for optimal brain function. More recently scientists have found it specifically promotes learning and memory because of its beneficial effect on synaptic plasticity and density. Magnesium works with calcium to modulate ion channels that open in response to nerve impulses, which in turn trigger neurotransmitter release. The most important of those channels is controlled by a complex called the NMDA receptor. NMDA receptors play an important role in promoting neural plasticity and synaptic density, the structural underpinnings of memory. Ominously magnesium deficiency may produce no overt symptoms in its initial stages. Part of the problem is that it is difficult for the body to maintain sufficiently high concentrations of magnesium in the brain. For this reason, researchers have long sought ways that higher magnesium brain concentrations might be achieved and sustained.
The horrific progression of Alzheimer’s disease from dementia to personal extinction afflicts between 24-30 million people worldwide. Americans account for approximately one-fifth of those cases, which are expected to triple by 2050. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s there is new hope thanks to the work of a team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tsinghua University in Beijing. These scientists have identified several correctable factors involved in Alzheimer’s onset–and a novel nutritional intervention that may effectively target them. These researchers have found that a new highly absorbable form of magnesium called magnesium-L-threonate concentrates more efficiently in the brain, rebuilds ruptured synapses and restores the degraded neuronal connections observed in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss.
Based on prior research, they meticulously documented that increased levels of magnesium in the brain promote synaptic density and plasticity in the hippocampus. Up until now, however, no widely available forms of magnesium met the criteria needed for rapid absorption and efficient transfer into the central nervous system. The team from MIT and Tsinghua found a way to surmount this obstacle. They formulated a new magnesium compound called magnesium –L-threonate or MgT that allows for oral administration while maximizing magnesium “loading” into the brain. Testing of MgT showed significantly enhanced short- and long-term memory.
Levels of Alzheimer’s disease and associated memory loss among aging Americans are reaching epidemic levels. The neurodegenerative processes involved in memory loss result from deterioration of connectivity between brain cells but are not a natural function of aging. Memory loss is now known to be associated with loss of synaptic density and plasticity in the brain. Low magnesium levels may contribute to such losses. Magnesium-L-threonate (MgT), a new magnesium compound, boosts brain magnesium levels better than standard supplements. Studies reveal that MgT produces dramatic increases in synaptic density and plasticity, resulting in similar improvements in memory function itself.