Magnesium supplement to beat the winter blues

September 05, 2018

Magnesium supplement to beat the winter blues

Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The darker days of fall and winter is often associated with darker moods. If you experience mild symptoms of lack of energy, concentration problems, reduced libido, irritability and overeating which leads to weight gain – you might suffer from a sub-syndromal form of SAD called the winter blues. It may affect as many as 10 to 20% of the population; especially young females who live far from the equator (1).

 When your symptoms are interfering with your daily functions, it might be more than the winter blues – you could be suffering from a depression. « The way we diagnose SAD is to diagnose depression that follows a seasonal pattern», says Kelly Rohan, Ph.D., professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont, Burlington (2). Most people will experience SAD symptoms in the winter – starting in the fall and lasting until spring.

 

Melatonin and serotonin

The reduction in sunlight in winter can alter your levels of two important chemicals in the brain: melatonin (which regulates sleep) and serotonin (which regulates your mood). Melatonin brings your energy levels down to prepare you for sleep; an increase of melatonin may lead to a lower mood. Serotonin, on the other hand, is often called the happy chemical due to its relation with a sense of wellbeing and happiness.

     

    Too much melatonin and not enough serotonin have been found in people who suffer from depression.

       

      How a magnesium supplement can help

      Whether you suffer from SAD or experience the winter blues, taking a magnesium supplement could help stabilize the serotonin and melatonin chemicals and regulate your mood; your need for magnesium in the winter months is at its highest.

         

        I prefer the magnesium bis-glycinate over other types of magnesium because it is gentle on the stomach –  it does not cause diarrhea or loose stools. The "bis" in bis-glycinate means "two"; instead of one glycinate amino acid there are two glycine amino acids. The bis-glycinate is a unique form of magnesium that is readily up-taken into the bloodstream which I highly recommend especially for people with a sensitive digestive system.

           

          The current American recommended daily allowance for magnesium is a minimum of 320 mg for females and 420 mg for males (3).

           

          Magnesium-rich foods include:

          • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)
          • Nuts and seeds
          • Dark chocolate
          • Avocados

           

          Unfortunately, it has been estimated that 68% of Americans consume less than the recommended levels of dietary magnesium (4). Eating magnesium-rich foods and taking a daily bis-glycinate supplement can ensure you meet your minimum recommended daily allowance.

           

          Sources:

          (1) King D.E., Mainous A.G., 3rd, Geesey M.E., Woolson R.F. Dietary magnesium, and C-reactive protein levels. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 2005;243:166–171

           

          (2) American Psychiatric Association. (n.d.). Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Retrieved September 2, 2018, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder

           

          (3) Robinson, L., Shubin, J., & Segal, J. (2018, June). Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Recognizing and Treating the Winter Blues. Retrieved August 31, 2018, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad.htm

           

          (4) Office of Dietary Supplements - Magnesium. (2018, March 2). Retrieved August 31, 2018, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

           

          NOTE: ALL MATERIAL AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THE INFORMATION IN MY ARTICLES ARE NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE A ONE-ON-ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH A QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL AND ARE NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.

          COPYRIGHT JESSICA GARNEAU, ND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED




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