What’s inside this article: A quick look at what magnesium is, how our body uses it, why it’s important, the benefits of using a magnesium supplement including how it helps improve self-regulation, and product recommendations.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.
What if a simple vitamin with breakfast in the morning could improve self-regulation for your struggling child?
Well, a growing body of research supports the premise that magnesium supplements can help children with self-regulation.
It’s already well-known in the medical world that magnesium is crucial for brain activity, however, some experts believe magnesium supplements could be a breakthrough in the field of anxiety, relaxation, and sleep.
What is Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most common minerals on earth – it’s a macro nutrient.
This means the body uses magnesium in large quantities, and needs to receive adequate magnesium every single day.
Over 600 cellular reactions throughout our bodies use magnesium, and every single cell and organ needs it to function properly.
So it’s pretty crazy to believe, but an estimated 72% of people are magnesium deficient.
Why do we all have low magnesium? Well, if your diet contains white sugar, white bread, or white rice you probably aren’t getting enough magnesium because these foods deplete your magnesium levels.
Do your children eat any of those processed foods?
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- Impaired social skills
- Noise sensitivity
- Teeth grinding
Did you know that growing pains and cramps could also be the result of low magnesium?
Benefits of Magnesium for Kids
Magnesium for Sleep:
Magnesium regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body.
It also binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.
GABA is the neurotransmitter responsible for quieting down nerve activity. Sleep drugs, like Ambien, target the same neurotransmitters.
Magnesium for Self-Regulation
Magnesium helps self-regulation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, this is the system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed.
This system works particularly hard after the body’s fight or flight instinct is activated, which occurs when children have meltdowns. As it works to bring everything back to “normal” otherwise known as homeostasis
Homeostasis is the self-regulation of the internal conditions within cells and whole organisms such as temperature, water, and sugar levels.
This keeps cells and organisms functioning at optimal levels even when challenged by internal and external changes.
Homeostasis is essential for achieving emotional self-regulation.
Other Benefits of Magnesium:
Since it plays a role in so many processes in our bodies, there are many other benefits to magnesium supplementation, too.
- Fights inflammation
- Relieves constipation
- Improves concentration
- Boosts brain function
- Supports bone and teeth health
- Aids digestion and absorption of other essential nutrients
- Improves mood
Magnesium for Kids with ADHD and/or Autism
There are over 20 peer-reviewed studies on magnesium and vitamin B6 (we need B6 to absorb magnesium) for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of the most studied nutritional treatments for autism. And those nutritional benefits are great for ADHD too.
What are the findings?
Studies have determined that children with ADHD and ASD, have low magnesium levels, linked to a genetic defect in magnesium transport among cells in the body.
That means children with these diagnoses may need more magnesium than what is typical to keep cell functions working as normal because their bodies are using up magnesium more quickly.
Researchers found that taking a magnesium-B6 supplement daily over 3 weeks, restored magnesium levels to a normal range, and that it significantly reduced the clinical symptoms of autism and ADHD. (Source)
Best Magnesium Supplement for Kids
In both my personal opinion and my professional opinion, ChildCalm from Advanced Nutrition by Zahler, is, by far, the best Mg-B6 supplement for children.
This supplement was developed specifically to help children with self-regulation.
It’s not a magic fix – it provides external support to help children use self-regulating tools and exercises they’ve been taught.
They need enough magnesium to have their brains and bodies functioning normally, so they can meet their own potential to self-regulate efficiently.
Advanced Nutrition by Zahler uses the highest-quality ingredients available in all of their supplements.
Also, it’s a chewable tablet rather than a gummy. I’ve had some parents reach out recently looking for alternatives to gummies due to dental concerns.
What’s in ChildCalm?
ChildCalm combines the benefits of Magnesium and Vitamin B6 with other natural remedies believed to improve mood and self-regulation.
What are other people saying about ChildCalm
“I don’t normally write reviews… in fact, I think this is only my third one, and I’ve been an Amazon customer since the very beginning… but, I felt like a review was definitely in order for this product.
My 8-year-old boy who was diagnosed at a young age with Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD – he specifically struggles with making appropriate social and behavioral decisions and would often get in trouble at school for not listening, not cooperating, hurting other students, etc…
I send him to school with one ChildCalm tablet in his lunchbox and then when he gets home from after school care, he takes one more ChildCalm and 100mg GABA
I couldn’t believe it, but, my son is now CHATTY! He’s able to verbalize his opinions and use his words instead of getting frustrating and making poor decisions – this is something he has always struggled with. He’s having PERFECT days at school AND after school care…
It’s such a noticeable difference and it happened almost right away for him. The school reports back about their surprise with his newly-found communication skills and even praise how caring of others he’s become.
We’ve been following the regimen above for about a month now and couldn’t be happier. I have never been more pleased with a product and truly hope that it continues to offer a safe and reliable alternative for my son.”
Better Absorption than Other Magnesium Supplements
The most common forms of magnesium in supplements are Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Citrate .
ChildCalm, however, uses Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate, patented under the name TRAACS®
This is a superior form of magnesium.
Magnesium bisglycinate has superior absorption. A 4-arm, crossover study found that serum levels of magnesium over an 8-hour period were the highest for magnesium bisglycinate, followed in order by dimagnesium malate, buffered magnesium bisglycinate, and magnesium oxide.
Glycine, the amino acid in magnesium bisglycinate, helps decrease the pH of the small intestine, which improves magnesium bisglycinate’s solubility and absorbability.
Where to Buy?
ChildCalm is Available on Amazon
From Advanced Nutrition by Zahler
The bottom line is, the right magnesium supplement, and teaching the right self-regulation skills, drastically improves self-regulation for many children.
Most children (and people in general) are magnesium deficient, and it’s a macronutrient that every single cell in our bodies need to function properly.
Supplementing with magnesium can help your child sleep better, stay calm, focus at school, fight inflammation, support bone and teeth health, aid digestion, and boost brain health.
It’s a no-brainer that your child (and probably you too) will benefit from taking magnesium daily.