We all know it; vitamin D is essential for our good health. But there is a condition for vitamin D to be effective that we are not often told about; that’s magnesium.
Up to 50 percent of the US population has a magnesium deficiency
A review published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that vitamin D can not be metabolized without a sufficient intake of magnesium, which means that vitamin D remains stored and inactive for nearly half of Americans.
“People take vitamin D supplements but do not realize how they are metabolized, and without magnesium, vitamin D is not really helpful,” says one of the study’s co-authors, a specialist in osteopathy.
He explains that the consumption of vitamin D supplements can increase a person’s calcium and phosphate levels, even if they remain deficient in vitamin D. The problem is that people can suffer from vascular calcification if their magnesium levels are not high enough to prevent the complication.
Patients with optimal magnesium levels require less vitamin D to reach sufficient levels of vitamin D. Magnesium also reduces osteoporosis, helping to mitigate the risk of bone fracture that can be attributed to low levels of vitamin D.
Deficiency of any of these nutrients is associated with a variety of disorders, including skeletal malformations, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.
There is also a link between vitamin D and the risk of falling.
While the recommended daily intake of magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women, the standard diet in the United States contains only about 50% of that amount. It is estimated that half of the total population consumes a diet low in magnesium.
According to the researcher, consumption of magnesium from natural foods has declined in recent decades, due to industrialized agriculture and changes in dietary habits. Magnesium status is low in populations that consume processed foods rich in refined grains, fats, phosphate and sugar.
“By eating an optimal amount of magnesium, you may be able to reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the dependence on vitamin D supplements,” he says.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body after calcium, potassium and sodium. Magnesium-rich foods include almonds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, cashew nuts, egg yolk, fish oil, flax seeds, green vegetables, milk, mushrooms, other nuts, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, soy, sunflower seeds, tofu and whole grains.