Magnesium L-Threonic May Enhance Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults

Research has found that magnesium L-threonic, a magnesium supplement specifically designed to raise concentrations of magnesium in the fluid around the brain and spinal cord, may improve cognitive function in people already experiencing cognitive impairment. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, included 44 adults, aged 50 to 70, with declining memory and concentration, anxiety, and poor sleep quality. Half of the participants were randomly selected to receive a magnesium L-threonic supplement (25 mg per kg of body weight); the other half received a placebo every day for 12 weeks. At the beginning, middle, and end of the trial, participants answered questionnaires pertaining to cognitive function and performed tests measuring their anxiety levels, sleep quality, and several markers of cognitive ability, including executive function, working memory, attention, and episodic memory. The tests also measured fluctuation of cognitive ability, an early sign of cognitive impairment. After analyzing the results of these tests, researchers found that:

  • After six weeks, participants receiving the magnesium L-threonic supplement demonstrated a 19% improvement in executive function and cognitive processing, and this improvement persisted at week 12. In contrast, those receiving the placebo showed little improvement.
  • Participants receiving the magnesium L-threonic supplement also experienced a statistically significant increase in overall cognitive ability and a reduction in cognitive fluctuation compared with those receiving the placebo.
  • There were no differences between the two group’s sleep quality and anxiety levels, and neither group reported side effects.

This study suggests supplementing with magnesium L-threonic may be a safe way to lessen age-related cognitive decline. However, the research was funded by the manufacturer of the supplement used in the study, so more research from unaffiliated parties is needed to confirm the findings. Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to watch your magnesium intake because this important mineral has been found to help reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and risk of diabetes. Sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, spinach, black beans, edamame, and avocados. And of course, a magnesium supplement could be a good choice. Just be sure to talk with your healthcare practitioner before adding magnesium, or any new supplement, to your health regimen.

Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

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