Can magnesium affect serious conditions like seizures and migraines? Because magnesium is required for some 300+ enzymes in the body, and many of these are required for healthy brain function, this just might make sense.
Today’s diets are notoriously deficient in this mineral. Foods like whole grains, nuts and seeds are good sources and can be added to the diet to increase overall intake. Supplementation beyond dietary intake is very inexpensive and safe.
The beauty of oral magnesium supplements is that you cannot take too much. Certain supplements, like magnesium and vitamin C, can only be absorbed in certain amounts from the gut. If we take too much, we can’t absorb any more, so the extra stays in the intestines. When this happens, the magnesium will attract water and create loose stools or diarrhea (not a bad side effect when someone is dealing with chronic constipation). Anyone who has had a colonoscopy is very aware of what very high doses of magnesium will do to the gut.
Before we go further, I need to remind readers that, while medicine today does not recognize that migraines and seizures are in the same category, I strongly promote that the underlying problems in the brain are similar between the two. For this reason, what helps or harms with one condition has a strong probability of helping or harming the other.
This particular article reviews the potential of magnesium to have a positive impact on seizures. The authors base this on several known findings:
- Magnesium deficiency in animals increases seizure likelihood
- Low magnesium solutions can generate seizure-like activity in rat brain tissues in the lab
- Magnesium blocks the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor, a receptor that can cause seizures
- Studies have shown that people with epilepsy have lower magnesium
- Children with infantile spasms responded better to hormone therapy when magnesium was used
While none of these items are a slam dunk to assure that magnesium can be an effective treatment tool in seizures, given the low cost and high safety of magnesium, it would make sense to add magnesium supplements to the daily list of supplements that anyone with migraines or seizures should be taking.
Depending on the quality, levels from 400-800 mg would be good to consider.
So what supplements do you use to help manage your migraines or seizures?