by Kati Winter
Enzymes make a lot of magic happen in the human body, so mindfulness around daily intake is important. Vitamins and minerals are critical nutrient co-factors for enzyme production, with magnesium being of particular interest. It’s involved in more than 300 different enzymatic reactions including energy production, muscle function, cell signaling, brain health, and much more. Unfortunately, many of us do not consume adequate amounts of magnesium, and that deficiency can impact our brain health, including short- and long-term memory, our quality of sleep, and our moods and anxiety levels.
Magnesium L-threonate, which goes by its patented name, Magtein, is a unique compound discovered by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It provides a specific form of magnesium that is naturally and preferentially taken up by the brain. By targeting where the magnesium goes researchers have been able to look at how magnesium in the brain may affect brain health as we age.
Neuroplasticity describes the ability of the brain to change and adapt as a result of new experiences. Think of it as similar to walking in a field of tall grass. The first attempt at crossing the field is difficult. The grass gets in the way and it’s uncomfortable, scratchy and provides a lot of resistance. After a few passes on the same path, however, the grass gets trampled and the path becomes easier to walk. Neuroplasticity describes a type of re-wiring of the brains circuitry similar to creating a new path.
Some scientists believe that the human brain begins shrinking after age 25 and those structural changes can lead to rapid decline in cognitive health. The solution to preventing the brain from shrinking is unclear; however, supporting neuroplasticity may provide an important role. It may be surprising to learn that magnesium plays a big role in this process. Both human and animal studies have confirmed that Magtein has the potential to increase our capacity to promote neuroplasticity.
In a recent double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trial (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016;49(4):971-90) researchers found that Magtein supplementation was effective at increasing brain performance, function, and speed on a variety of cognitive tests in adults with early cognitive impairment. An exciting feature of the study was that researchers assigned a biological age (based on a variety of different cognitive tests) to the brains of the study’s participants at the beginning of the study, and then evaluated the biological age again after the 12-week study period. The average “brain age” in the Magtein supplementation group reduced by nine years!
If you miss the younger version of your brain, or if you’re looking to increase your brain functioning, consider a daily dose of brain-specific magnesium.
Kati Winter is an integrative medicine consultant, exclusively serving local licensed healthcare practitioners. She is dedicated to providing scientifically validated support, education, and insights to support optimal healing.