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Magnesium, also called the “relaxation mineral,” plays a role in the normal functioning of many of the enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, and research has established a firm connection between magnesium intake and depression. A recent human study has further confirmed that magnesium supplementation is effective at reducing symptoms of depression, regardless of gender, age, baseline severity of depression, or baseline magnesium levels.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, included 126 participants with mild-to-moderate depression who were instructed to take 500 mg of magnesium chloride (containing 248 mg of elemental magnesium) for six weeks. Supplementation with magnesium resulted in a “clinically significant” improvement in depression symptoms as well as an improvement in generalized anxiety, with positive effects seen within just two weeks. Furthermore, magnesium supplementation was shown to enhance the effects of select antidepressant medications. This study highlights that magnesium is effective for depression in adults: it works quickly, is affordable, and offers a safe option for individuals motivated to take control of their mental health.
Rhodiola is a unique herb with a noteworthy history—it has long been used as a medicinal plant in Scandinavia, parts of Europe, and Russia to increase endurance and work performance, longevity, tolerance to altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue. Modern research has found that rhodiola is a powerful force when it comes to combating stress, fatigue, and mood-related issues, including depression, in part by stimulating brain receptors of important neurotransmitters related to mood.
In a recent review published in the journal Phytomedicine, researchers examined previously published studies on rhodiola and depression and found that rhodiola combats depression in a variety of ways: it improves brain cells’ response to stress, helping protect them from its negative effects; supports the normal functioning of the hormones and neurotransmitters necessary for positive moods; supports mental alertness; and acts as a general adaptogen, helping the body block the physical and mental effects of stress. Previous research has found that rhodiola reduces stress and stress related fatigue in part by normalizing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Rhodiola contains at least 140 compounds that make it an advantageous botanical agent for stress and depression. Moreover, in contrast to most conventional antidepressant medications, rhodiola has a low risk of side effects and is well tolerated by most people.