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Don’t take a chill pill: Magnesium tablets do little to help mood

Magnesium tablets have been pushed as a mood booster, but a new study has found little evidence to support the widespread claim.

The study, the world’s largest review of nutritional supplements for mental health, found a lack of compelling evidence to suggest magnesium helps treat mental disorders.

But Professor Jerome Sarris, from Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, said that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useless to treat anxiety and depression.

“There is some animal research data saying that it can certainly influence mood and certainly can reduce anxiety and stress in animal models,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“It just hasn’t been replicated in human studies.”

Mr Sarris said using nutritional supplements of any kind should be a last resort.

“We want to get our nutrients from a good, wholesome, balanced diet,” he said.

Food sources of magnesium include nuts, grains and leafy vegetables.

The study also found a lack of evidence to suggest vitamins or zinc improve mental health.

Omega-3 was found to be a helpful add-on treatment for depression, when used in conjunction with other treatment.