Magtein Improves Cognitive Ability in Older Adults?


A recent study found AIDP’s magnesium L-threonate ingredient “nearly restored” executive function deficits in older adults with cognitive impairment.

Photo © Murillo

Photo © Murillo

Magtein, a magnesium L-threonate ingredient from AIDP (City of Industry, CA), may partially restore cognitive ability in older adults with cognitive impairment, according to recently published results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

At the recent Natural Products Expo West trade show, Mark Thurston, who was named president of AIDP in January, told Nutritional Outlook that the study shows a “definite improvement” of cognitive ability as a result of Magtein supplementation.

“You can see in the study that [Magtein] showed very successful results of both increasing the magnesium and also people’s level of short-term memory and reactivity,” said Thurston. He added that there are two more clinical trials of Magtein currently in the pipeline, also focused on parameters of cognitive function such as anxiety, memory, and reactivity.


Study Details

The study included 44 subjects aged 50–70 with cognitive impairment who were randomized to consume either Magtein or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Participants were evaluated for four aspects of cognitive ability: executive function, working memory, attention, and episodic memory at baseline, six weeks after beginning supplementation, and 12 weeks after beginning supplementation. Researchers used the trail making, digit span, flanker, and face-name tests to evaluate improvements in cognitive ability.

At the end of the supplementation period, researchers observed a significant improvement in overall cognitive ability in the Magtein group compared to placebo. Researchers also compared the study population to age-matched controls from normative data. While the study population presented with more severe executive function deficits at baseline, Magtein treatment “nearly restored their impaired executive function" at the conclusion of the study.

The effects of Magtein supplementation on sleep quality and anxiety were also investigated in the study, but due to strong placebo effects no significant effect of Magtein on sleep and anxiety could be determined.

“The current study also demonstrates the safety and efficacy of magnesium threonate (Magtein), a compound designed to help magnesium cross the blood brain barrier so that it can increase brain synapse density on restoration of certain cognitive abilities,” says Guosong Liu, PhD, the principal investigator of the study. “This study highlights the importance of increasing neuronal intracellular magnesium, a key intermediary of synapse density control, for improving cognitive abilities in older adults.”


Changes at AIDP?

Also at Expo West, Thurston spoke to Nutritional Outlook about his plans for AIDP’s future. Before being named president of AIDP in January, Thurston served as vice president of global business development at Innophos (Cranbury, NJ).

One area Thurston is looking to expand upon is AIDP’s mineral offerings, given his experience working with minerals at Innophos and Rhodia Food Ingredients North America before that, where he served as vice president and general manager.

“With my background in minerals, we will be adding more minerals, such as the organic ligands, glycinates and gluconates,” said Thurston. “I think we can help our customers formulate better for their applications, whether it’s gummies or beverages or tablets and capsules, you need different types of products for those different types of applications. We can give them advice on the type of formulations they can put together because certain minerals should not go in the same product.”

Thurston added that AIDP will continue to invest in small start-up companies with interesting technologies and help them bring new products to market. He pointed to the success of Magtein, which AIDP similarly invested in several years ago, as an example of the sort of strategic partnerships AIDP will pursue.

“With my expertise, we’re going to accelerate that type of work,” said Thurston.


Read more:

Andrographis Extract Promotes Memory and Cognitive Health?

Can Cognitive Health Influence Gut Health?

2016 Ingredient Trends to Watch for Food, Drinks, and Dietary Supplements: Brain Health Ingredients


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine


Liu G et al., “Efficacy and safety of MMFS-01, a synapse density enhancer, for treating cognitive impairment in older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 49, no. 4 (October 2015): 971­–990

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