Is magnesium the mightiest mineral of all?

Is magnesium the mightiest mineral of all?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about brain health. A popular gallery that I posted two weeks ago showed 5 nutrients to help entertain your brain (and 1 to avoid).

Now I’m looking to put my money where my mouth is and purchase a supplement that will help keep my synapses popping and cranium cruising along through middle agedom.

Today I want to talk about magnesium. That’s because I’ve been paying a bit of attention to Curiosity, the Mars land rover that landed on the red planet last week. Turns out the scientific community is asking NASA to specifically study magnesium in astronauts. The reason is that space flight’s microgravity leads to significant reductions in magnesium levels in large studies of astronauts and cosmonauts.

This reduction in magnesium levels leads to both a tenfold decrease in cardiovascular system functional capacity (magnesium is renowned for its cardio benefits) and a progressive shortening of telomeres—the next great frontier in anti-aging research.

Turns out, another great thing magnesium can do for the body is help the brain. A new form of magnesium, called Magtein by its supplier AIDP, has been studied in animals and humans at MIT and in China. Human clinicals are under way to, one hopes, validate the effects seen already, which include improved sleep, mental sharpness and attention.

Another recent study found that a brain health supplement, called FocusFactor, improves word retention. Which is nice when you might be lost for words. I’m not sure I have that problem yet, but why not stay ahead of the curve?

Other benefits of brain-health supplements range from mood to stress and sleep—now those are both things I could use some help with! As Kathy Lund, director of business development and marketing at AIDP told me, “Consumers are understanding that magnesium can help with sleep. The brain controls sleep.”

Magnesium sales jump

Consumers are starting to gravitate toward the power of magnesium—sales are up 14 percent this past year and up a tidy 79 percent since 2006, according to Nutrition Business Journal data.

Innovations from other suppliers are also helping magnesium’s cause. Albion Human Nutrition’s entire company is organized around amino acid chelators, which bind to magnesium and shuttle the magnesium directly into cells.

Albion has developed nine magnesium delivery systems based on five different amino acid chelates that target different body functions.

Research is showing that, at least on the cognitive level, the amount of magnesium required to demonstrate a benefit is three times the 400mg/day recommended daily intake.

For detailed information on the magnesium landscape from a B2B perspective, including my favorite part—a SWOT analysis of magnesium’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—check out this new report from the editors at Engredea. It’ll make you as smart as a SKU of magnesium.

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