Magnesium – a strong natural anti-depression essential mineral

When someone was treatment-resistant to something, we used to think that a doctor or specialist just had not found the right medication or chemical for that particular disease or person. Then, over time, we came to see that in some cases, medications are trial and error.
Thinking more holistically led to scrutinizing imbalances rather than assuming that someone was pharmaceutically lacking. The obvious need to address the underlying cause(s) and imbalance(s), rather than trotting out chemical band-aids became recognized. An example of addressing serious nutritional imbalances, would be Dr. Abram Hoffer’s great ortho-molecular work in regards to depression, bi-polar, shizoprenia, etc. His work never received it’s deserved due and is thoroughly discussed at

Also the research work at TrueHope relates to rebalancing with micronutrient interventions rather than medicating –


An important cog in the mental-health-wheel is a full-blown magnesium deficiency. A serious lack is not hard to come by – and accummulates over time. It takes a few decades for most of us to obtain a serious magnesium systemic deficiency. This is then further aggravated by the known (but ignored) side-effects of many lucrative medications that are to fix things seemingly not working too well – ohhhh – so heart-breaking! Then we see imbalances from this for which we have many interesting names and labels and pharmaceuticals to match – such as fibromyalgia – as an example!

And it’s not just our bodies that suffer needlessly. There’s our state-of-mind and moods, too!
A magnesium deficiency leads to an over-abundance of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). NMDA is a substance that is not normally found in healthy tissue. Cerebral spinal fluid contains magnesium (sometimes called brain magnesium) and has been found to be too low when tested in people with drug-resistant depression, and also with other depression oriented diagnoses. Many research projects have come to similar results in sussing out magnesium levels in sufferers. (In fact initial research goes back to the 1920’s and shows 88% success rates in both animals and human experiments where magnesium levels were corrected.)

But magnesium is not patentable! No money to be made here – so no remarkable stories to tell! Only in the last few decades has this research been minimally re-activated. Magnesium’s brilliant role in mental health re-balancing is now common knowledge in research circles and well reported at PubMed type libraries – BUT has not filtered down the health industry hierarchy any further. It just doesn’t filter down to the GP level and to the people who really NEED to know the details and how to use this mineral. Could it be because a GP doesn’t know how magnesium supplements actually work (it’s not just about taking any old supplement with the word magnesium on the label…) and about how our bodies absorb efficiently – so many pathways – and that they cannot be seen administering magnesium IV’s either – too time consuming as a visit needs to be wrapped up in under 10 minutes and then the suspicion of one’s peers of thinking too much like a naturopath?
Naturopaths hopefully are on the ball with all of this! (Doctors are kept up-to-date mainly by medication sales people – not supplement researchers.)


Back to NMDA – this excitotoxin’s over-presence (due to a lack of magnesium) is over-kill for our bodies. Over-exciting our nerve cells becomes a problem with exaggerated quantities and leads to minute brain lesions. (And this is where the addition of unfermented soy becomes an even further exacerbating problem.)

NMDA activates receptors on nerve cell membranes and can render them temporarily off their rockers. Calcium and sodium ions can then pass into the affected nerve cell and also then lets potassium out of this cell. A healthy cell would want the opposite to occur – and this reverse action causes all sorts of “hay-wire” signalling – a disruption with a wide range of delicate physiological (such as memory loss, for example) and pathological (such as increased agitation, for example) processes.

A 2008 randomized clinical trial showed that magnesium was as effective as tricyclic anti-depressants in treating depression and/or pain (such as Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Clomipramine, Doxepin, Nortriptyline, Desipramine) and results were FAST. Intravenous and oral magnesium, properly administered with specific protocols, have been reported to rapidly terminate depression including those “drug” resistant depressions. No side effects were reported! (And with the possible benefits of happier muscles and less chronic pain and fatigue).

Magnesium’s deficiency is not foremost on our minds especially when we are chronically unwell but eat right and take supplements. But consider that magnesium has been largely removed from most diets and foods due to processing.
When we DO consume it, magnesium cannot be absorbed due to the many medications that “protect” the oesophagus and stomach etc… such as Omeprazole (Prolosec), Tagament, Pepsid, Zantac, Lansoprazole (Prevacid) and Metformin, just to name a few.  

Unfortunately popping an occasional cal/mag pill won’t do the trick. Magnesium needs a very specific low pH stomach environment to absorb (and that needs to be co-ordinated wisely). Calcium absorption needs it’s own very specifics in place (such as co-factors in the small intestinal tract affecting its 21 feet and millions of villi) in order to be effectively absorbed. The optimal conditions for calcium and magnesium are almost opposites and definitely cannot be achieved with one pill with combined minerals. (Yes! Expensive urine is created from the cal/mag pills!) Needless to say, the magnesium from a multi-vitamin isn’t going anywhere.

What were these manufacturing companies thinking? Maybe each molecule in each cal/mag pill and multi-vitamin has a GPS attached with a note as to where to go and I missed this piece… 🙂

Glutamate, aspartate and many unpronounceable items are now “legally” inserted into processed foods. This may worsen the brain-nerve-synapses disorders / neurological-toxicity and lesions that add to the depressions. These addictives and additives have crept into our foods stealth-fully. Here’s an example: if you lauded the folks who make Mars bars for not adding artificial sweetener type poisons (which I did) and then find that they DO actually add aspartame, but call it “natural flavouring”, then, you too, were tricked.

But the trick penetrates deeper than just eating a toxin that has to be eliminated. The toxin has effects on many other chemical processes, that in turn affect other processes and so the dominoes go. 

Magnesium deficiency should not be guessed at. The symptoms are many, subtle and overlap with so many other possibilities. Magnesium deficiency can be seen with properly practiced Live Blood Analysis. Magnesium infusion by supplementation is very specific.

Merrie Bakker B.Sc, M.Arch, CN

Merrie Bakker, BSc MArch CN - live blood analyst at  Pacific Holistic in Vancouver BC

we’re still in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, BC
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Merrie Bakker – Live Blood Analyst / microscopist – Health Educator – Author – Teacher – Speaker – Editor – Hands-on-Healer – Reflexologist – Dowser – Reiki Master – Nutritional Coach – a life-long student of holistic medicine and preventative health who believes with a passion that cellular disorganization can be prevented or reversed by ortho-molecular medicine, emotional healing work, environmental detoxification (many areas of concern) and nutritional and lifestyle re-balancing (many possibilities). Combined with vigilance, monitoring and team work, clients are encouraged to detox, rebuild, re-nourish, resolve and re-educate.