< previous post             return to index            next post >

You need Magnesium to optimize Vitamin D

Photo used with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Photo taken by Kimberly Ann Wisner, RDN.

The way different nutrients work together in our bodies is truly amazing. The following research emphasizes that nutrient metabolism is not isolated, depends on the levels of other nutrients in the body, and varies among individuals.

The purpose of the study, "Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial," published in the December 2018 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was to test the hypothesis that the effect of magnesium supplementation on vitamin D metabolism depends on your baseline vitamin D level (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration)

Enzymes that synthesize and metabolize vitamin D are magnesium dependent. Magnesium deficiency inhibits vitamin D synthesis and metabolism. National data estimates indicate that as many as 80% of people in the United States do not meet their Recommended Dietary Allowance for magnesium.

The study found that in people with vitamin D blood levels around 30 ng/ml, magnesium supplementation increased their Vitamin D level, but decreased it when their baseline vitamin D was in the 30 to 50 ng/mL range. It appears, from this work, that magnesium optimizes vitamin D levels and had a regulating effect in people with both low and high vitamin D levels. The study concluded that optimal magnesium status may be important for optimizing vitamin D status.

So, to ensure proper metabolism of vitamin D, eat lots of dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and avocados. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium.

Don’t assume that simply taking a vitamin D supplement is all there is to vitamin D. The status of magnesium in your body will affect how you use vitamin D. The reason some people don’t see the expected rise in vitamin D levels with supplementation may be that they aren’t getting enough magnesium.

For more on magnesium see my previous blog on magnesium

Photo used with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Photo taken by Kimberly Ann Wisner, RDN.


posted on 1/18/2019