Send to

Choose Destination

Magnesium and major depression.


Eby GA3, Eby KL3, Murk H4.


In: Vink R1, Nechifor M2, editors.


Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2011.

Author information

Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology & Adelaide Centre for Neuroscience Research, School of Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Department of Pharmacology, “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania
George Eby Research Institute, 14909-C 2109 Paramount Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704, USA.
Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Marburg, 35043 Marburg, Germany.


The treatment of major depression (MD) is still a major unmet medical need in the majority of patients. Sixty percent of cases of MD are treatment-resistant depression (TRD), showing that classical treatments for MD are poorly effective to non-effective. Magnesium has been largely removed from processed foods, especially refined grains, in the Western world, harming the brain and causing mood disorders. Magnesium deficiency causes N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) coupled calcium channels to be biased towards opening which causes neuronal injury and neurological dysfunction, which we believe results in MD. Oral administration of Mg to animals produced antidepressant-like effects that were comparable to those of antidepressant drugs. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) Mg has been found to be low in suicidal TRD. The first report of Mg treatment for agitated depression was published in 1921 showing success in 220 out of 250 cases. One 2008 randomized clinical trial showed that Mg was as effective as the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine in treating MD. Intravenous and oral Mg protocols have been reported to rapidly terminate MD safely and without side effects. Brain Mg deficiency reduces serotonin levels, and antidepressant drugs have been shown to have the action of raising brain Mg. Excessive calcium, glutamate and aspartate intake can greatly worsen MD. We believe that, when taken together, there is more than sufficient evidence to implicate inadequate dietary Mg as contributing to the cause of MD, and we suggest that physicians prescribe Mg for its prevention and treatment.

© 2011 The Authors.

Supplemental Content

Support Center