Magnesium and Stress

Use the relaxing benefits of magnesium to cope with stress

Man under stressAs traditional lifestyles, working styles and family structures around the world break down and life is lived in an ‘always-on’ mode, stress has become routine rather than an infrequent episode in our life. Prolonged stress leads to anxiety and disrupts normal functioning. Symptoms of anxiety include abdominal pain, headaches, tension, trouble concentrating, sleeping problems and irritability.

Stress not only affects the health and safety of individuals, but also the health of organisations and national economies. Work-related stress is one of the biggest health and safety challenges in Europe. Nearly one in four workers is affected by it, and studies suggest that between 50% and 60% of all lost working days are related to it. [1] 



The Chemical Reaction of Stress

The stress reaction is manifested in a host of responses; externally we experience it in the form of rapid heartbeat and increased breathing rate. But what we do not sense is the more serious silent ways in which our body chemistry changes while handling stress. When a stress trigger occurs, the body puts out stress hormones, magnesium and calcium (among other things) into the bloodstream [2]. Nerve cells begin to ‘fire’, telling heart and muscles to ‘ speed up!!!’.Stressed young woman needs Mag365

Stress response results in a drastic change in the cells’ internal Magnesium to Calcium Ratio (Mg:Ca). The change in this ratio has a wide-ranging impact. While magnesium and calcium are similar in their chemistry, biologically these two elements function and react very differently.

•   Calcium excites nerves, magnesium calms them down.

•   Calcium makes muscles contract, but magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax.

•   Calcium is necessary to the clotting reaction, but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely and prevents abnormal thickening when clotting reactions would be dangerous.

What happens when you are magnesium deficient?

When the body has low amounts of magnesium and the cellular Mg:Ca ratio is disturbed, stress response can occur even in the absence of an appropriate trigger.

A study published by Nicolas Singewald and colleagues in 2004 "Neuropharmacology” shows that magnesium deficiency leads to increases in anxiety-related behaviour [3]. Magnesium deficiency may increase susceptibility to the physiologic damage caused by stress, according to a 2000 study by Leo Galland [4]. Dr Galland says that Mg deficiency increases susceptibility to the physiologic damage produced by stress. It is due to this reason that people deficient in magnesium also suffer from high blood pressure [5,6] or increased blood “stickiness” (platelet aggregation). [7]

A low Mg:Ca ratio increases adrenaline secretion as well as cells’ response to adrenaline, which means that low magnesium state can also keep the stress response from subsiding in a timely way.[8] Even worse, when body magnesium becomes drastically low, this becomes a stress trigger in itself alarming the body into further stress response without enough magnesium to back it up, resulting in a low magnesium-high stress crisis.

Magnesium helps De-stress

Magnesium helps De-stressMagnesium administration may have a protective effect against stress. In 1992 a study published by E. Bocková in ‘Ceskoslovenská Psychiatrie’ shows that magnesium can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.[9] Magnesium is an inhibitor of the Nmethyl-D-aspartate, or NMDA, receptor in the brain. Inhibition of NMDA receptor activity is associated with anti-anxiety activity, according to a 2004 study published by Ewa Poleszak and colleagues in "Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior." [10]

Stress can also lead to intake of high-fat foods, which can further intensify magnesium deficiency. This means that stress also increases the need for magnesium. [11]

Four ways to bring the Magnesium benefit to your Life

Magnesium supplements are a good way to add this vital mineral to your diet. One simple and effective method of increase your uptake of Magnesium is through supplements like Mag365. Mag365 is a magnesium chloride-based supplement with high bioavailability of magnesium fast absorption.

Another good idea would be to replace your current calcium supplements with a Cal-mag supplement like Mag365 plus Calcium. This is a superior Magnesium-Calcium formulation with magnesium and calcium in ratio of 3:2. It helps prevent a surplus of calcium robbing the body’s magnesium supply. It also includes potassium and vitamin D for better absorption of these key minerals.

You can also try magnesium massages. Magnesium Rub and Magnesium Gel, two transdermal magnesium therapy products, are highly recommended as medium for a massage. Have Magnesium Rub or Magnesium Gel rubbed all over your body by a massage therapist or do it yourself.

Add Magnesium Rub and Magnesium Gel to you bath and get a relaxing soak before you go to bed.


  2. “Stress causes blood adrenaline, calcium and magnesium to go up.” Body, J. J., P. E. Cryer, et al. (1983). “Epinephrine is a hypophosphatemic hormone in man. Physiological effects of circulating epinephrine on plasma calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, and calcitonin.” J Clin Invest 71(3): 572-8.
  3. Magnesium-deficient diet alters depression- and anxiety-related behavior in mice--influence of desipramine and Hypericum perforatum, Singewald N, Sinner C, Hetzenauer A, Sartori SB, Murck H. Source: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacy and CMBI, Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, Peter-Mayr-Str. 1, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
  4., Magnesium: The Stress Reliever
  5. “Rats on a magnesium deficient diet show high blood pressure. The inside diameter of their blood vessels becomes smaller as the degree of magnesium deficiency becomes larger.” Altura, B.M., B. T. Altura, et al. (1984). “Magnesium deficiency and hypertension: correlation between magnesium-deficient diets and microcirculatory changes in situ.” Science 223(4642): 1315-7.
  6. “Blood pressure can be made to rise in rats via a chemical treatment that causes a rise in cellular calcium. Supplementing these animals with magnesium prevented the blood pressure rise and kept the cellular calcium level normal.” Kh, R., M. Khullar, et al. (2000). “Effect of oral magnesium supplementation on blood pressure, platelet aggregation and calcium handling in deoxycorticosterone acetate induced hypertension in rats.” J Hypertens 18(7): 919-26
  7. “In humans, low magnesium intake makes platelet aggregation rate go up. Oral magnesium supplements can bring the rate back down.” Nadler, J. L., T. Buchanan, et al. (1993). “Magnesium deficiency produces insulin resistance and increased thromboxane synthesis.”Hypertension 21(6 Pt 2): 1024-9.
  8. “All risk factors for heart disease can be simply explained as a magnesium deficiency.” Seelig, M. S. and A. Rosanoff (2003). The Magnesium Factor. New York, Avery Penguin Group.
  9. Ceskoslovenská Psychiatrie;" Potentiation of the effects of anxiolytics with magnesium salts; E. Bocková et al.; Aug. 1992.
  10. "Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior"; Antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like activity of magnesium in mice; Ewa Poleszak et al.; 2004.
  11. "Journal of the American College of Nutrition;" Consequences of magnesium deficiency on the enhancement of stress reactions; preventive and therapeutic implications (a review); M. S. Seelig ; 1994.