Does Magnesium L-Threonate Help You Sleep? - An Expert's Perspective

Magnesium L-threonate is a relatively new supplement that has been shown to help adults with sleep disorders, anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. It is easily absorbed and can enter the brain, where it can reverse the aging of our brain. Magnesium helps to sensitize cells to the effect of insulin, lowering blood sugar and reducing inflammation. It also helps us relax, supports healthy sleep and reduces stress.

All of these effects help to keep our brain healthier.Current research shows that extra magnesium can help the body relax and even improve symptoms of insomnia. However, magnesium l-threonate did not help better than a placebo with sleep, mood or anxiety in one study. If you eat a balanced diet, you'll probably get enough magnesium. But it's technically possible for a doctor to test your magnesium levels, and the findings may not be very beneficial.Having magnesium in your system is no guarantee that you will fall asleep.

While magnesium might improve sleep, it's not a substitute for a good sleep routine. Dr. Umeda recommends other supplements first, such as melatonin, valerian and chamomile tea.As magnesium L-threonate can easily raise magnesium levels in the brain, it has the potential to improve cognitive function. However, the research is still in the early stages and mainly concerns animal models.

Rapid absorption and ability to enter the brain allow this magnesium to structurally reverse certain aspects of brain aging.A recent human study demonstrates the benefits of magnesium L-threonate in adults with cognitive dysfunction, sleep disorders and anxiety. The study was based on the premise that sleep disorders and anxiety correlate with perceived memory loss. Those who report mild cognitive impairment and who also have the sleep disorders and anxiety are more likely to develop Alzheimer's.In this multicenter study, participants were randomly assigned to receive placebo or magnesium L-threonate at a dose of 1,500-2,000 mg daily (depending on body weight) for 12 weeks. Initial cognitive tests started before people started taking mGT or placebo.

These cognitive tests were then repeated at points of six and 12 weeks.The study subjects were approximately 10 years older in terms of their cognitive function. Treatment with mGT was found to reverse these measured aspects of brain aging until it was almost identical to that of its cognitively healthy peers.Previous studies show that increasing magnesium concentrations in cultured brain cells from the hippocampus (the area of the brain where memories are stored and retrieved) increases both synaptic density and brain plasticity. As a result, consumption of a typical magnesium compound instead of magnesium L-threonate (MgT) does not affects brain functions, such as cognition and memory, because much of it does not reach the brain.In fact, studies show that increasing magnesium levels in human blood by 300% changes magnesium in cerebrospinal fluid by less than 19%. Magnesium l-threonate generally does not have this effect, since it was formulated to enter and be absorbed by the brain.Developed by MIT researchers, magnesium L-threonate has been shown to reverse clinical measures of brain aging in nine years.

So far, there is only one clinical trial on magnesium l-threonate that has been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.While researchers recognize that magnesium plays an important role in regulating sleep, they do not fully understand the effect of magnesium on sleep behaviors. The only reported side effects of magnesium l-threonate are headaches, drowsiness, or a feeling of increased blood flow to the head.The most surprising finding is an investment of more than nine years in clinical measures of brain aging in people who received magnesium L-threonate supplements. Just because this brand-name product has been studied does not necessarily mean that it is more effective than generic magnesium l-threonate.Magnesium should not be taken if you have kidney disease, as the kidneys normally remove magnesium from the body. Animal research results suggest that magnesium l-threonate might be particularly useful for anxiety disorders, such as phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder, but human studies are needed.There is evidence that magnesium l-threonate may increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that stimulates the formation of new brain cells.

Magnesium L-threonate easily crosses the brain's protective filter, the blood-brain barrier, to reach the brain where it's needed. It also explores the importance of magnesium in the body and the symptoms that a person may experience with magnesium deficiency.

Miranda Jimeno
Miranda Jimeno

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