Anger is a common human emotion that can impact our daily lives. However, when anger becomes overwhelming and disrupts our well-being, effective strategies are needed. One of them is taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for numerous bodily functions. In the context of the nervous system, magnesium aids optimal nerve signal transmission and neuromuscular coordination (how the nervous system controls muscles). It also acts as a protective shield against excessive excitation (activation) that may lead to cell damage.
How does magnesium affect anger?
Magnesium has various effects on the brain. It helps reduce the release of excitatory signals in the brain and blocks a specific receptor called NMDA, which is involved in excitatory signalling. Magnesium also blocks the entry of calcium into brain cells, which is another important signal.1
It can activate a receptor that promotes relaxation and counteracts the effects of angiotensin II, a blood pressure-raising hormone. Additionally, magnesium affects the transmission of signals between brain cells by regulating the balance of certain chemicals. It also plays a role in the energy production of brain cells.
These effects of magnesium are important because they can impact various brain-related conditions. Imbalances in excitatory signaling have been associated with anger control issues, as well as other conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
Studies on cells and animals have shown that magnesium can protect brain cells from damage, which makes it an exciting potential neuroprotective agent in humans. Therefore, ensuring an adequate magnesium intake may be important for preventing and treating these conditions.
Which type of magnesium is best for anger?
Deciding which type of magnesium supplement to take can be overwhelming, given the numerous options available. Each form of magnesium has its own characteristics and benefits.
Let's explore some of the commonly used forms and their effects.
Magnesium glycinate is a popular form that combines magnesium with the amino acid glycine. It is gentle on the stomach and easily absorbed by the body. Research suggests that magnesium glycinate may promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, making it a good choice for mental health and relaxation.
Another widely used form is magnesium citrate, known for its high bioavailability (meaning it can be easily absorbed and used by the body). It helps address magnesium deficiency and can assist in managing anger. However, it may have a stimulating effect on the gut, leading to more bowel movements in some individuals.
Commonly used topically, magnesium chloride may help soothe muscles when applied as a lotion. However, its absorption through the skin is limited. When taken orally, it affects the nervous system, but may not act as quickly as desired for anger management.
Magnesium oxide is a commonly found supplement, but it has relatively lower bioavailability compared to other forms. It is primarily used to promote bowel movements and reduce stomach acid.
While magnesium lactate is often used as a food additive to reduce acidity, it can also be taken as a supplement. It is well absorbed by the body and may be suitable for individuals with specific medical nutrition needs.
Considered highly bioavailable, magnesium L-threonate is touted for its potential mental health benefits. Animal studies have shown that it increases magnesium deposition in brain tissue. However, more research is needed to fully understand its long-term effects.
Magnesium malate is known for being easy to digest and may help regulate bowel movements. It is sometimes used as a flavour enhancer in food and can be used to alleviate muscle soreness.
Famously known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulphate is commonly used in baths to relieve sore muscles. As a supplement, it is highly effective in promoting bowel movements.
Magnesium orotate is often used by athletes due to claims that it enhances performance. However, it may not have significant calming effects.
Chelated magnesium forms, which combine magnesium with organic compounds, have improved stability and bioavailability. They are better absorbed and utilised by the body, while also reducing the likelihood of loose stools.
When choosing a magnesium supplement, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider for personalised advice. However, currently recommended forms include chelated magnesium, magnesium citrate, and magnesium glycinate. Remember, it is better to start with any available form rather than delaying magnesium supplementation if it is needed for optimal health.
In addition to supplements, incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet can help ensure adequate magnesium intake. Examples of magnesium-rich foods include:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
How much magnesium should I take for anger?
To prevent magnesium deficiency and support overall health, the recommended daily intake varies based on age and gender:3
- Adult and teenage males: 270 to 400 milligrams (mg)
- Adult and teenage females: 280 to 300 mg
- Pregnant females: 320 mg
- Breastfeeding females: 340 to 355 mg
- Children aged 7 to 10: 170 mg
- Children aged 4 to 6: 120 mg
- Children from birth to 3 years of age: 40 to 80 mg
Take magnesium supplements with meals to avoid potential side effects like diarrhoea. Usually, you should swallow the tablets whole without chewing or sucking on them. Consult your healthcare professional before breaking or crushing tablets, as this may not be suitable for most types.
If you are using the powder form, then just pour the powder into a glass, add water and stir to dissolve.
Follow your doctor's instructions and the directions on the label regarding how much magnesium to take and when. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your usual time. Do not double the dose.
Some magnesium supplements may include vitamin C and B group vitamins. Vitamin C and B vitamins support the nervous system and normal psychological function. They also contribute to energy metabolism, reducing tiredness and fatigue. The combination of vitamin B and magnesium enhances their effectiveness in supporting mental health and overall well-being.
Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance on magnesium supplementation. Additionally, incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet, such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, can help meet your daily magnesium needs naturally.
Side effects and other concerns
Magnesium supplements can have both beneficial and unwanted effects. While not everyone experiences these side effects, it's important to be aware of them and seek medical attention if necessary.
If you notice any of the following side effects, contact your doctor immediately:4
- Dizziness or fainting
- Flushing (redness of the skin)
- Irritation and pain at the injection site (only for intramuscular (injected) administration)
- Muscle paralysis
- Trouble breathing
In rare cases, overdose symptoms may occur, but this is unlikely for individuals with normal kidney function. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical help:
- Blurred or double vision
- Dizziness or fainting
- Severe drowsiness
- Increased or decreased urination
- Slow heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
Some side effects are usually mild and do not require immediate medical attention. These side effects tend to improve as your body adjusts to the medication.
Your healthcare provider may provide suggestions on preventing or reducing these side effects. For example, taking magnesium supplements with meals can help avoid a laxative effect. Alternatively, you can consider using modern forms of magnesium, such as chelated magnesium, which are reported to be less likely to cause stomach discomfort.
Remember to consult your doctor for personalised advice regarding medication side effects and management.
In conclusion, magnesium supplementation can be beneficial for maintaining mental health and addressing anger issues. It is important to follow the recommended daily intake based on age and gender. Magnesium supplements should usually be taken with meals to avoid potential side effects, such as diarrhoea.
Some supplements may include vitamin C and B, which can enhance the benefits on the nervous system. Additionally, incorporating magnesium-rich foods into the diet is a natural way to support magnesium intake.
Understanding potential side effects is crucial, and if any rare or severe symptoms occur, you should seek immediate medical attention. It is important to consult with healthcare professionals to address any concerns or side effects.
Modern forms of magnesium supplements, such as chelated magnesium, offer alternatives for individuals who experience discomfort with traditional forms. Adapting the form or adjusting the dosage can help prevent or minimise side effects.
Overall, magnesium supplementation, when used appropriately and under medical guidance, can support your mental well-being. With proper understanding and usage, magnesium can be a valuable addition to your diet to promote optimal health and wellness.
- Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and Stress. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. 2011 [cited 2023 May 20]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507250/
- Kirkland AE. The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders. Nutrients. 2018 Jun [cited 2023 May 20];6(10):730. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060730
- Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Proper Use [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2023 May 20]. Available from:https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/magnesium-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/proper-use/drg-20070730.
- Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Side Effects [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2023 May 20]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/magnesium-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/side-effects/drg-20070730.