Sometimes the simplest answers are usually the best. So when I read that MIT found that increasing brain magnesium had a direct effect on learning and memory my ears and eyes sharpened up like a dog that just saw his favorite toy. Fishing through all the huperzine As, racetams, bacopas and dopas sometimes make you forget about the minerals and vitamins that are so important to maximizing normal physiologic function.
With that said the focus of this article will be on Magnesium:
Magnesium is a phenomenal mineral. As one can easily see it shares a column with Calcium on the periodic table, which means they both readily ionize into their 2+ forms. This similar valence pattern makes magnesium and calcium very much like each other, with respect to their chemical properties with one major exception: size. The overall trend, with respect to size, in the periodic table is that the atoms get larger as you move towards Francium and smaller as you move up and to the right. This is important because almost anywhere in the body where calcium is used it can be replaced with magnesium, albeit different binding properties secondary to size. With that said, magnesium exerts effects on muscle tension, specifically smooth muscles within blood vessels. This is one reason why magnesium is the goto therapy for certain pregnant women in need of tocolysis or lowering blood pressure. In fact, calcium is so widely used in the body for many things from muscle tension to enzyme cofactors even the release of post synaptic neurotransmitters. The importance of magnesium is almost hitched off of the importance of calcium. There is one other thing, about minerals, that should not go unmentioned, that being deficiencies of them are extremely hard to measure, clinically. But Farhood, my electrolyte panel says that everything is normal… yes, although that may be true, young padawon, it is a measure of plasma levels and not intracellular levels (the things that cells actually have direct access to). Intracellular levels will deplete, as sacrifice to maintain blood levels and no one will be the wiser. Your cells could be starving and your blood labs would never tell you anything about it.
With that short intro, we have to remember this is SmarterNootropics.com and we are all about the mind which makes our main dragon to slay, our BBB. Generally speaking, it is very difficult to get things across this dragon and with good reason. The dietary forms of magnesium have a difficult time getting past this beast. Thankfully the people at MIT have developed a new molecule that seems to come with just the right stuff to get around this, that being magnesium threonate. According to MIT:
Our findings suggest that an increase in brain magnesium enhances both short-term synaptic facilitation and long-term potentiation and improves learning and memory functions.
So with this I say, thank you MIT and happy Magnesiofication to you all.