Rebalance intraneuronal nutrients. Although there are no large scale clinical trial proving that depression and related mental illnesses can be effectively treated with nutrients like magnesium and zinc, there are many articles that demonstrate why magnesium and zinc should be effective from neurobiochemistry, animal and human studies.

There is no corporate profit to be made with magnesium and zinc and there is consequently no corporate interest in testing them for depression. Perhaps U.S. government agencies like the National Institute of Health will eventually test them as treatments for depression. There is little or no risk associated with taking these nutrients, while there is a risk of suicide and many adverse side effects by taking physician prescribed SSRI drugs for depression.

Try magnesium glycinate in doses of 100 to 300 mg magnesium on an empty stomach one hour before each meal (or with meals if not possible to take it on an empty stomach) and at bedtime. This totals 1 to 3 times the RDA for magnesium. If magnesium glycinate is not available, try magnesium lactate, magnesium malate, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) or magnesium gluconate, however these compounds are more likely to cause diarrhea. Small people may need to take smaller doses to avoid intestinal problems, regardless they too need as much magnesium as their intestinal track can tolerate without diarrhea.

Medical Conditions that Adversely Affect Magnesium Balance

Alcoholism and drinking alcohol depletes magnesium and is an important cause of low intraneuronal magnesium, depression and related mood and behavior problems. Although it has been known for many years that prolonged ingestion of ethanol is associated with numerous side effects, among them cardiovascular disease and mental health issues, a direct cause and effect between alcohol and injury to the cardiovascular system and the brain has only been recently shown., , ,


Schizophrenia is another serious mental illness that has low intraneuronal magnesium. Levine et al. in 1996 measured the serum and cerebrospinal fluid levels of calcium and magnesium in acute schizophrenics and in schizophrenic patients in remission. The acute schizophrenics demonstrated statistically significant lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid magnesium.

Mental Illnesses Associated with Increasingly Severe Neuronal Magnesium Deficiency

There is a cascade of mental illnesses associated with magnesium deficiency and they can be arranged according to the severity of magnesium deficits.

Foremost and most common are headaches, migraines,, , , , cluster headaches,, various other types of headaches, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome, , irritability,, habituations such as cigarette smoking, inappropriate behavior, 70, 71 (Wacker and Parisi 1968), 79 (Durlach 2002) tingling, pricking and burning sensation, 101 (Enya 2004) all occurring at modest neuronal magnesium deficiencies.

Neuroses including anxiety, 74 (Seelig 1975), 59 (Singewald et al. 2004), , , 104 (eby and eby 2006), , , irritability with intractable seizures, compulsive behavior perhaps like Tourette's syndrome, confusion, panic attacks, 79, ataxia, 79 (Wacker and Parisi 1968), excessive sighing, 100 (Kalinin 2004) hyperemotionality,, habituations including smoking cigarettes, drug (cocaine) abuse 104, and alcohol abuse, 104, , delirium tre­mens , 162 tetany, 162 attention deficit hyperactivity,, , , , , autism,, , , bruxism and tics,, inattention, hallucinations, 152 (Kirov 1990) delirium,(Galland 1988), (Baker and Worthley 2002) neuromuscular hyperactivity including hyperexcitability,(Durlach et al. 1997), (Durlach 2002) hyperventilation, 158 (Durlach 1997) spasmophilia, 158 (Durlach 1997) seasonal affective depression, traumatic brain injury, 104 (Eby and Eby, 2006) tetany, 84 (Galland 1988), 156 (Taborska 1995), 158 (Durlach 1997), 176 (baker 2002) generalized tonic-clonic as well as focal seizures, 184 (Wacker and Parisi 1968), vertigo, 184 (Wacker and Parisi 1968), sudden hearing loss, muscular weakness, 184 (Wacker and Parisi 1968), 179 (Durlach 2002) tremors,, 184 (Wacker and Parisi 1968) fibromyalgia, 179 (Durlach 2002) chronic fatigue syndrome, 179 (Durlach 2002) psychotic behavior, nystagmus (rapid, involuntary, oscillatory motion of the eyeball), difficulty in swallowing, 158 (Durlach 1997) apathy, hypocalcemia which is responsive only to magnesium therapy; 186 (Flink 1981) all occur at moderate levels of magnesium deficiency.

The above modest and moderate magnesium deficiency disorders often precede more serious health issues associated with severe magnesium deficiency including cardiovascular disease,, , cardiac arrhythmias including ventricular fibrillation (Torsades de pointes ) and sudden death, and mental health disorders like bipolar disorder,, epilepsy,, , 100 (Kalinin 2004) post partum depression, 104 (Eby and Eby) seizures,, (Baker 2002) delirium, 155 (Baker et al. 2002) convulsions, 58 (Ault 1980), 186 (Flink 1981) coma, Parkinsonism,, , , , early Alzheimer's disease (symptoms of severe depression, IQ loss and memory loss), 104 (Eby and Eby 2006) (Note: Advanced Alzheimer's disease appears to be caused by a deficiency of both magnesium and niacin, perhaps due to the liver's inability to convert tryptophan to niacin in aging), major depression, 104 (Eby and Eby 2006) suicidal ideation 104 (Eby and Eby 2006) and suicide 83 (Banki 1986), 104 (Eby and Eby 2006).

Each of the above mental illnesses (except suicide) appears most effectively treated with magnesium (sometimes with additive Vitamin B-6) since there are no major side effects and treatment seems curative. However, there are no large, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials proving that 5-HTP, magnesium or zinc will cure depression and other mental health illnesses.