Synergy: You need proper amounts of magnesium to effectively utilize vitamin D, according to study
07/21/2019 // Cassie B. // Views

Once you learn all the ways that vitamin D can enhance your health, you might be going out of your way to ensure you’re getting more of it. Whether you’re spending more time in the sunshine or taking a supplement, your efforts could be futile if you’re not also getting proper amounts of magnesium, studies show.

In fact, magnesium deficiency is nearly as common as vitamin D deficiency, so it’s quite possible that your body isn’t able to use whatever vitamin D you’re giving it. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently illustrated the importance of this mineral when it comes to vitamin D.

Magnesium is a mineral that is used by your body for more than 300 biochemical reactions. It helps with everything from immune support and bone strength to maintaining a steady heart rhythm and normal nerve and muscle function. It also plays a role in healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral within the body, ranking behind only calcium, sodium, and potassium, and one of its roles is vitamin D metabolism.

Unfortunately, between 70 and 80 percent of Americans do not meet the minimum recommended intake of magnesium, prompting some experts to predict that magnesium sales could surpass those of calcium within the next year. The National Institutes of Health recommends that men get between 400 and 420 milligrams per day; women should aim for 310 to 320 milligrams.

In the new study, participants aged 40 to 85 were placed in a group that either took a placebo or a magnesium supplement in a dose that was personalized. They found that the impact of magnesium depended on their initial levels of vitamin D. To be more specific, those whose vitamin D levels were insufficient or lower were able to increase their vitamin D levels via magnesium supplementation. At the same time, it actually lowered levels of vitamin D in those who had excess amounts of it in their system, indicating that it has the power to regulate people’s levels of vitamin D.


The study suggests that taking magnesium supplements might help people reach adequate levels of vitamin D faster. It could also help enhance vitamin D’s effects on bone health. Their finding also explains why some people still have low vitamin D levels, even when they have been taking supplements.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Pathology Professor Mohammed Razzaque said: “People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful.”

Eat the right foods to get more magnesium

In addition to supplements, there are lots of foods you can eat to get more magnesium in your system. Fatty fish like salmon, avocados, and nuts are excellent sources, as are bananas, dark leafy greens, whole grains, beans and dark chocolate. Experts say that some simple switches can help. For example, those who regularly opt for whole grains instead of refined ones will naturally get more magnesium.

This finding serves as a great reminder that the mechanisms and biological processes behind good health don’t work in isolation. Getting adequate sleep, sunlight for vitamin D, and plenty of exercise while eating a well-rounded, organic diet is the best way to stay healthy.

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