Once upon a time, ladies and gents of a nervous disposition could attend a GP and be ushered out the door with a bag full “anxiety pills” aka valium, one of the benzodiazepines. 

They certainly take the edge off, but they are a smidge habit-forming, and you can’t take them forever (ideally). 

So the NHS has a plan, and it is fool-proof. 

They have started giving out another drug, pregabalin, instead. 

There are, however, a few issues….



You see, the issue is, these people are not pregabalin deficient, so it is never going to be a long term solution, especially for mental health issues. 

Does that mean they shouldn’t prescribe it? 

No, they absolutely should for some chronic intractable nerve pain issues. 

But as a front line treatment for a mental health condition? 


I would argue that, what many people these days call “anxiety” is really, a mixture of lifestyle comparison via social media, breakdown of social structure, poverty, or what Dr Seamus O’Mahony refers to as “shit life syndrome”. 

And children, as part of the issues above, had a bad time with lockdowns.


The front line for mental health should be a combination of CBT, therapy, EMDR and, in my opinion, functional medicine/nutrition.

You see if we look at how pregabalin works, and it does work, then we can use it for our patients. 

The main EXCITATORY neurotransmitter that increases pain & thinking is called GLUTAMATE. 

Think MSG – Mono sodium GLUTAMATE, that headache from chinese food is really your neurons being excited to death. 

The main INHIBITORY neurotransmitter is GABA. 

You need a balance, you need to get excited and think and have pain when appropriate, but too much glutamate relative to gaba, and then you are primed for chronic pain after an injury and primed for mental health issues.

You just can’t stop thinking, aka “anxiety”.

Now here is the magic, GLUTAMATE becomes GABA. 

It is a perfectly evolved system to keep us safe and healthy. 

One way to reduce pain is to reduce the nervous system activity all together, and if we could block GLUTAMATE from hitting its receptor…..enter PREGABALIN. 

Note the GABA in preGABAlin, originally thought to be a GABA agonist, turns out it is a GLUTAMATE antagonist. 

But now we know how the brain is getting excited or inhibited, then we can ask how would the brain naturally block glutamate. 

Enter our old friend MAGNESIUM.

Magnesium is your ENDOGENOUS glutamate BLOCKER

That is why magnesium is good for pain and muscle tension and cramps and for sleep and anxiety and on and on – it calms your nervous system down by blocking GLUTAMATE. 

And here is some more magic – the conversion of GLUTAMATE TO GABA is 100% dependent on adequate vitamin B6

If you are low in B6, you will be higher in GLUTAMATE and lower in GABA, and thus have a more excitable nervous system. 

And that my friends in one of many reasons that we have a product with magnesium AND B6 together called MAGESIUM DUO PLUS

It is 75 mg of magnesium glycinate, 75 mg of magnesium citrate and 15 mg of B6 in the P5P form. 

A marriage made in heaven. 

So, next time you have a patient with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, I would always trial Mag Duo Plus with Vitamin D3/K2 or the

DAILY MAINTENANCE 2 as we call it.