As scientists, medical practitioners, biohackers, and health conscious creators we are deeply passionate about the latest studies and techniques to help optimize the quality of your life. When we find research that excites us we love sharing it with you. Check out this 2023 study showing how dietary magnesium is related to larger brain volumes and fewer white matter lesions as we age.
Magnesium Intake Is Associated with Larger Brain Volumes
As we age, the brain gradually loses volume due to structural changes in both gray and white matter. This natural process of brain atrophy can contribute to age-related cognitive decline. Strategies that help to preserve optimal brain volume can therefore help to maintain healthy cognitive function as we age.* Aiming to find an intervention that may help to mitigate brain aging, a recent study examined the association between dietary magnesium intake of 6001 cognitively healthy participants aged 40 to 73 and age-related structural changes in their brains.
The study estimated the total amount of magnesium participants consumed in their diet, from both foods and supplements, over a 16-month period. At the end of this period, participants underwent an MRI scan to assess brain volumes, specifically of gray matter, white matter, and the hippocampus, as well as white matter lesions. These measurements were then correlated with magnesium intake.
Results indicated that, in general, higher dietary magnesium intake was associated with larger brain volumes, particularly in gray matter and the hippocampus, and with fewer white matter lesions. Compared to a magnesium intake of 350 mg/day, an intake above ~550 mg/day indicated the ability to sustain brain volume corresponding to about 1 year of typical aging for the study population, which had an average age of 55. When extrapolated to the general population, the authors estimated that a 41% increase in magnesium intake may help to maintain healthy brain volume and cognition.*
Results indicated that, in general, higher dietary magnesium intake was associated with larger brain volumes, particularly in gray matter and the hippocampus.
Interestingly, although both men and women benefited from higher magnesium intake, post-menopausal women seemed to benefit a bit more from higher magnesium intake, although the reason why was unclear.
The main takeaway from this study is that higher dietary magnesium intake, either from food sources or from supplements, may contribute to the preservation of brain health and cognitive function as we age, with these benefits being noticeable even in early middle age. This reinforces the importance of magnesium as a crucial brain longevity nutrient.
Magnesium has key roles in mitochondrial function and cell energy production, which are essential for the maintenance of healthy tissue function as we age, particularly in an organ as energetically demanding as the brain. This is one of the reasons why we included magnesium in Qualia Life, Neurohacker Collective’s flagship longevity product. Our goal was to complement dietary levels of magnesium, which often fall short, aiming at supporting cellular processes that contribute to healthy aging of our tissues and organs, including the brain.*
Learn more about our recently reformulated version of Qualia Life (Qualia Life 2.0) here.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Alateeq et al. Dietary magnesium intake is related to larger brain volumes and lower white matter lesions with notable sex differences. Eur J Nutr (2023). DOI: 10.1007/s00394-023-03123-x