You would be hard pressed to walk into any store right now without being greeted with front-and-center displays of fine wines, beautiful chocolates encased in heart shaped boxes, glittered cards with sweet sonnets of undying love, and pink and red heart images everywhere. It’s all sweet and heartwarming when you are anticipating the gifts that will be carefully chosen for you. But what if you aren’t... Valentine’s Day is not all unicorns and rainbows to the one who doesn’t feel like their life is the plot for the next sappy Hallmark movie. Star-crossed lovers aside, for many, Valentine’s Day can be down-right painful... a reminder of loss, an accentuation of what is not.
We aren’t match-makers and don’t have the ability to dispatch Cupid with a 911, but we do know a little something that may help that doesn’t involve getting you cast on the next reality dating show (Thank God!).
We all experience days we don’t fit the description of happy-go-lucky, but any extended period of depression is something that we urge you to discuss with your doctor. There are many options to help, one may be as simple as a mineral. Several studies have discovered significant links between low magnesium levels and depressive symptoms. One study found that those who were taking an antidepressant experienced stronger benefits when supplementing with magnesium, suggesting that it may be helpful when used in conjunction with antidepressants.
Magnesium helps to regulate the actions of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors in the brain that are believed to be important for learning and the formation of memories. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter essential for normal brain function. But balance is everything! Too much glutamate is linked to depression and anxiety and can cause the cells to overstimulate and eventually bring about cell death leading to disorders such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, strokes, and seizures. Magnesium works to block the excess action of glutamate in the NMDA receptors. Being deficient in magnesium leaves glutamate unchecked and can lead to depression and other very serious disorders as a result of cell damage. Chronic pain and neurological disorders often coexist with depression and have also been linked to glutamate levels. It is believed that magnesium deficiency may contribute to both neurological and psychiatric symptoms.
February is not just about heart-shaped gifts of every kind and/or the elation or depression all that may bring! It is National Heart Health Month! Magnesium is absolutely vital for optimal heart health! It is known as the “guardian angel of the heart” for good reason. Studies have found that higher magnesium levels are associated with lower heart disease risk. Without a healthy level of magnesium, calcium floods into the cells, which can go into spasms. Spasms within heart cells are what we call a heart attack. Magnesium plays the role of regulating the amount of calcium that is allowed to enter cells. A small amount of calcium is needed within the cells for electrical transmissions. However, when insufficient amounts of magnesium are present, excess amounts of calcium can enter the cells causing calcification and hyper-excitability. This can lead to arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks. Prescription channel blockers work to prevent calcium buildup. Magnesium is a natural channel blocker as it works to regulate the influx of calcium into cells, preventing calcium overload. It is also key in the enzymatic function that lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides while also raising HDL (good cholesterol).
Insufficient magnesium intake can lead to heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, coronary artery dis-ease, and more.
So, be your OWN Valentine! Take care of your heart and mind...
a little magnesium is a great place to start!