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January 31, 2010

Magnesium is good for your memory

After conducting a study on rats, a new research has confirmed that magnesium plays an important part in improving our memory.
Magnesium Boosts Memory
The research by Canadian, Chinese, American and Israeli universities shows that an increase in magnesium levels in brain can boost learning and memory.

After their study on old and young rats which were administered higher levels of brain magnesium, the researchers said they have come to the conclusion that increasing magnesium intake can play be vital for those complaining of fading memory.

On the other hand, inadequate levels of magnesium impair memory, the researchers said in a statement released here by the University of Toronto - one of the research participants. Tsinghua University in China, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US and Tel Aviv University in Israel were other participants.

Since it is difficult to boost brain magnesium levels with oral supplements, the researchers used a new magnesium compound called magnesium-L-threonate (MgT) to increase magnesium in rats of different ages.

After administering the compound, they studied changes in their memory.

"We found that increased brain magnesium enhanced many different forms of learning and memory in both young and aged rats," said Prof Guosong Liu of Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Raised magnesium levels in rats' brains showed enhanced short- and long-term cellular processes that are crucial for learning and memory, he said.

"Magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of many tissues in the body, including the brain and, in an earlier study, we demonstrated that magnesium promoted synaptic plasticity in cultured brain cells."

"Therefore it was tempting to take our studies a step further and investigate whether an increase in brain magnesium levels enhanced cognitive function in animals."

Added Prof Min Zhuo, who is the Canada Research Chair in pain and cognition at Toronto university, "Diet can have a significant impact on cognitive capacity. Identification of dietary factors which have a positive influence on synapses, connections for communication between neurons, might help to enhance learning and memory and prevent their decline with age and disease."

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