Posts Tagged Magnesium
Magnesium is a vital nutrient that the human body requires in order to function healthily. It’s important for a range of bodily processes, including regulating nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA. It’s one of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals critical for a healthy body.
Magnesium cannot be produced by the body itself – in other words, it needs to be sourced elsewhere, such as from food or supplements. The levels of magnesium needed for each person varies on gender, age and size. However, when a Traumatic Brain Injury occurs, magnesium becomes a nutrient you should strive for with its many mental and physical health benefits.
Many ordinary people today use Magnesium supplements to help with their energy, flexibility, muscle strength, and even sleep or stress management. In particular, people who have a love for fitness or sports take regular Magnesium tablets to assist with recovery and performance.
So, what could it do for TBI?
Magnesium For TBI
Following a traumatic brain injury, the side effects of anxiety, stress, brain swelling, cramping and tightening of muscles, stiff muscles, and insomnia are quite possible.
That’s where magnesium comes in to save the day.
Increase Flexibility, Decrease Tone, Reduce
Considering magnesium can assist with flexibility and loosening tight muscles, increasing your magnesium intake after a traumatic brain injury can likely help alleviate your stiff, cramped muscles.
Low magnesium levels can also cause a large build-up of lactic acid, which results in workout pain and tightness.
Taking magnesium for this particular problem allows your muscles to relax correctly before and after exercise.
Stress & Anxiety
Magnesium can also help to control stress hormones. Serotonin, in particular, depends on magnesium for production.
This is responsible for relaxing your nervous system and encouraging positive moods, thus stabilizing you mentally.
Low magnesium levels are linked with anxiety behaviours and heightened stress – all the more reason to ensure you are taking in adequate amounts after your injury.
Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory, and as such, it can help to reduce brain swelling from a traumatic brain injury.
It increases cardiac output and cerebral blood flow. When the body has appropriate levels of it circulating throughout the body, people can experience improved neurological and cognitive outcomes.
It has also shown to possibly reduce pain intensity and headache severity.
Serotonin also helps encourage a good night sleep. Low magnesium levels can affect the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, too.
Insomnia is indeed a common symptom of magnesium deficiency seen in many people today. They experience restless sleep and constant waking during the night, which leads to unhealthy sleep.
By maintaining the correct magnesium levels, people can enjoy deep, undisturbed sleep. Along with the melatonin, magnesium plays a role in maintaining healthy levels of “GABA” which is a neurotransmitter that promotes optimal sleep quality.
How To Take Magnesium
Magnesium can be taken in the form of a tablet supplement, but there are many magnesium-rich foods that can be incorporated into your daily diet, as well.
Try this list of power foods to hit your daily magnesium intake.
Dark leafy green vegetables
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds
Walnuts, cashews, pecans
Other Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium Cream: Magnesium cream delivers the nutrients full spectrum of benefits, soothes muscle tension and increases flexibility in the applied area.
Magnesium Oil: Magnesium oil is a no mess, easy-to-absorb, form of magnesium that may be able to raise levels of this nutrient within the body when applied topically to the skin.
Ensuring that you have optimal levels of magnesium is the first step towards a healthy recovery following TBI.
It will help your muscles improve in flexibility, reduce pain, balance hormone levels, encourage positive moods, and sleep more soundly.
A change in diet might alleviate some of the long term symptoms of TBI.
Posted Dec 22, 2017
You have just experienced a traumatic injury to your head; a series of changes are about to occur in your brain that will have short and long term negative consequences. You just joined the ranks of 1.7 million other people living in the U.S. who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. TBI is an alteration of brain function caused by external forces leading to loss of consciousness, temporary memory loss and alterations in mental state at the time of the injury.
A study by the Mayo Clinic found that one-third of patients’ brains showing pathology and evidence of chronic degenerative diseases had participated in contact sports. The popular press has carried numerous stories about retired players of the National Football League who have a threefold increase in their risk of developing depression as well as a variety of worsening cognitive impairments. Indeed, all athletes, especially young adults, exposed to repetitive concussions are at increased risk of developing cognitive deficits.
In the hours, days and weeks following initial accident a series of secondary biochemical changes develop that lead to a progressive degeneration within vulnerable brain regions. Many of these changes are also commonly seen associated with advanced normal aging and are thus rather well studied. One of the initial changes involves a dysfunction of the mitochondria inside of the neurons of the brain. Mitochondrial are responsible for energy production and are critical to the survival of neurons, which use a lot of energy. The injury to the mitochondria leads to a condition called oxidative stress where individual atoms of oxygen that we inhale become very toxic to the brain. Next, the oxidative stress induces brain inflammation which leads to an assortment of degenerative diseases, particularly during the years following the TBI event. These three critical events following the TBI, i.e. loss of normal energy production, oxidative stress and long term brain inflammation, underlies the development of seizures, sleep disruption, fatigue, depression, impulsivity, irritability and cognitive decline. Although no effective treatments are available to alleviate these biochemical events in the brain, research has advanced sufficiently to understand how specific chemicals in the diet can target the negative effects of oxidative stress and inflammation.
A series of recent studies (Nutritional Neuroscience 2018, 21:79), conducted primarily using animal models, have discovered that adding certain vitamins and minerals to the diet might alleviate some of the long term consequences of TBI. I would never recommend taking mega-doses of any supplement, thus I have listed the dietary sources of these nutrients. It is always most effective, and considerably cheaper, to obtain nutrients via their natural sources. Supplementation with Vitamins B3 (found in white meat from turkey, chicken and tuna), D (most dairy products, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) & E (nuts and seeds, spinach, sweet potatoes) improved cognitive function following repetitive concussive brain injury.
Magnesium and zinc are both depleted following TBI. Zinc supplementation for four weeks reduced inflammation and neuronal cell death and decreased the symptoms of depression and anxiety in rats following TBI. Both zing and magnesium can be obtained by eating nuts, seeds, tofu, wheat germ and chocolate. The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and α-linolenic acid were also shown to be neuroprotective in animal studies whether taken prior to, or after, the injury. Thus, people who participate in contact sports might want to add these fats to their regular diet. However, don’t waste your money on α-linolenic acid or DHA supplements; adequate amounts are easily obtained via a diet containing fatty fish, flaxseeds, canola oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, tofu and walnuts.
Sulforaphane was shown to improve blood–brain barrier integrity, reduce cerebral edema and improve cognition in a rodent model of TBI. Sulforaphane can be obtained via a diet containing brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli sprouts, turnips and radish. Finally, enzogenol improved cognition when administered to TBI patients in a randomized, controlled study. Enzogenol is a water extract of the bark from Pinus radiate that contains high levels of proanthocyanidins. Once again, do not waste your money, proanthocyanidins are easily obtained by consuming grapes (seeds and skins), apples, unsweetened baking chocolate, red wines, blueberries, cranberries, bilberries, black currants, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios.
Interventional studies with natural anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories via the diet are becoming attractive options for patients with TBI. Unfortunately, very few clinical trials to treat this neurological condition have been performed. Finally, because I have written so often about this topic in other blogs, I must also recommend a daily puff of marijuana which will reduce the consequences of oxidative stress and brain inflammation following TBI.