Updated: Apr 26
One of our top-selling supplements is a product called Brain Balance, a powder that provides several forms of highly absorbable magnesium. As the name implies, we have seen this product improve memory, focus, and mental clarity but also improve a wide variety of other conditions, including Raynaud’s disease, menstrual cramps, ringing in the ears, and insomnia. How can one product do so many things? The secret lies in the miracle of magnesium.
About half of all Americans are deficient in magnesium. Low dietary intake, poor absorption, and excessive loss through urine or stool can all lead to deficiency. Excessive alcohol consumption depletes magnesium as well as many prescription medications. Because magnesium helps support more than 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body, even a slight deficiency can have far-reaching effects.
Magnesium is often thought of as the “great relaxer.” It relaxes the mind, the muscles, and the nerves. It is used to treat insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps, and constipation. Magnesium is able to relax the smooth muscle of the arteries (to lower blood pressure) and the uterus (to reduce cramps). Now, research out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that magnesium is also absolutely critical for the health of the brain. It can improve short-term and long-term memory and reduce the risk of age-related memory loss.[i] This is where Brain Balance comes in.
Brain Balance contains magnesium L-threonate, which is the form of magnesium that has been studied for 10 years at MIT. Magnesium L-threonate is unique in its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. When it enters the brain, magnesium works together with calcium to optimize nerve-to-nerve signaling at the spaces where nerve endings meet—spaces called synapses. Our ability to learn relies on our ability to quickly form new synapses and remove old ones, a trait called neuronal plasticity. Our ability to remember relies on the actual number of synapses present, a trait called synaptic density. The studies at MIT show that magnesium L-threonate effectively improves both neuronal plasticity and synaptic density—and therefore, both learning and memory. Magnesium L-threonate may also reduce the risk of age-related memory loss, and it may help people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[ii],[iii]
Only magnesium L-threonate has been shown to have a high affinity for the brain and have an effect on memory, learning, and cognitive function. There could be many reasons that you start to take magnesium, but if you choose to take it in the form of Brain Balance, a pleasant side effect just might be greater clarity and focus of your thoughts.
The material contained herein is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. Please refer to the full text of the Legal Disclaimer on www.thecaregrouppc.com.
[i] Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010;65(2):165-177.
[ii] Li W, Yu J, Liu Y, et al. Elevation of brain magnesium prevents synaptic loss and reverses cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Mol Brain. 2014;765.
[iii] Abumaria N, Yin B, Zhang L, et al. Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala. J Neurosci. 2011;31(42):14871-14881.
About The Care Group: We promote optimal wellness by providing an individualized, functional medicine approach to address root causes rather than simply treating symptoms. We help patients with a wide range of issues including autoimmune/ inflammatory disease, digestive disorders, hormone imbalances, and mood disorders. To learn more about our practice, click here.
About the Author: Dr. Gerard Guillory, MD is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has published two books on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In 1985, he opened The Care Group, PC. Today, his clinic is a Primary Care facility that is a hybrid of functional and traditional medicine treating patients with digestive disorders, autoimmune disease, and other conditions. You can learn more about Dr. Guillory here.