Understand the connection between the magnesium content in your diet

If you’re worried about those tiny lapses in memory that come as you get older, like where you put the keys, a phone number or someone’s name, there’s a new study about the advantages of magnesium. It also offers hope.

Researchers at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discovered that increasing your magnesium intake may aid in preventing memory loss as we get older.

Many experts are of the opinion that diets can be a significant influence on our cognitive abilities Researchers mention an estimate that only 32 percent of Americans get the daily recommended allowance of magnesium. It’s a cause for concern and a reason to learn more.

For adults the recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400 mg per day for men and the recommended daily dose for women who haven’t yet had a baby.

Adults who are over 31 need daily 420 milligrams for men and the recommended daily dose for women not expecting is 320 milligrams. “Magnesium is crucial for proper functioning of many tissues magnesium glycinate  including the brain. In a previous study we showed that magnesium promoted synaptic permeability of brain cells.” Guosong Liu, Director at the Center for Learning and Memory, Tsinghua University, Beijing. “It was tempting to take it one step further and examine whether an increase in magnesium levels enhanced cognitive functioning in animals.”

Although the tests were conducted on rats, experts believe the results could have implications for individuals too.

The study appears in the January 28, 2010 issue of journal Neruon, and demonstrates that increasing brain magnesium using a new compound, magnesium-L-threonate (MgT for short), aids learning, working memory as well as short and long term memory in rats.

Researchers also discovered that older rats performed better in a series of tests. Guosong Liu, MIT’s first researcher to study magnesium, realized it can aid in learning and memory. He and his team created a brand new magnesium compound that is superior to conventional supplements for increasing the levels of magnesium within the brain.

The researchers examined the effect of MgT on synaptic activity. Synapses are the places where neurons that are essential for transmitting signals from nerves. Both the old and young rats saw an increase in synaptic strength due to MgT. This increased the density of the hippocamp, which is the brain area that plays a vital role in long-term memory and spatial navigation.

Susumu Tonegawa, a MIT researcher at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory states, “This study not just highlights the importance of eating a balanced diet that is rich in magnesium but it also points to the potential of magnesium-based treatments to combat age-related declines in memory.”

Realizing that aging can cause some reduction in the capacity to recall memories when not all of the information is present in a coherent manner, the researchers carried out other research as part of the study.

The study found that MgT treatment enhanced memory recall in older rats in limited information conditions but not so in younger rats.

The study’s authors point out that the animals used in the study had been given a regular diet with sufficient magnesium. The study revealed that magnesium levels were increased to levels greater than those normally found in diets.

According to Liu, half of the people in the world are believed to suffer from magnesium deficiency. These results could have a major impact on the health of the public if MgT can be proven to be healthy for humans and efficient. Magceutics is founded by Liu. This company creates medications to treat and prevent the decline in memory due to age and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re experiencing cognitive decline due to age, a diet plan that includes enough magnesium daily is a smart and healthy choice.

There is a lot to discover about the effect of magnesium on memory. More research should be done to understand the connection between the magnesium content in your diet and your cognitive abilities.

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