In this open-label randomized cross-over study, participants were adults experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of depression (scores of 5-19 on the Public Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)). The enrollment in the study covered a period of over one full year. This was done to minimize the number of cases of seasonal depression participating in this trial. The study period lasted six weeks. Participants supplemented with 248 mg of elemental magnesium per day.
PHQ-9 scores were reduced by a significant 6 points and Generally Anxiety Disorders-7 scores dropped 4.5 points. Reductions in PHQ-9 scores of 5 or more are considered clinically relevant changes in persons who are receiving treatment for depression. The improvements seen, occurred no matter what gender, age or baseline depression score of the participant. Additionally subjects taking pharmaceutical antidepressants during the study period saw even larger reductions in PHQ-9 scores. Most participants taking the magnesium supplement saw some improvements in their scores within two weeks from the start of supplementation.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. The researchers hoped to see larger clinical trials that extend over a longer time period to verify the results of this study.
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