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The Surprising Link Between Magnesium and Vitamin D

The Surprising Link Between Magnesium and Vitamin D

Magnesium plays an important role in vitamin D activation.

When Magneto—a Marvel Comics human-mutant who generates and controls magnetic fields—teamed up with the X-Men, it came as a surprise that the once-villainous character was now on the side of good. Sometimes the good guys need a hand to get their work done.

That turns out to be the case with the super-vitamin/hormone “D.” True, it’s a defender of your immune health and neuromuscular function, protects bone strength, modulates cell growth and reduces inflammation. But it can’t do all that, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if it doesn’t team up with magnesium. Seems, if your body doesn’t have enough magnesium, synthesis of vitamin D gets shut down and so does its metabolic pathway.

Many of you take D supplements—CDC researchers reported an 83-fold increase in blood tests to check D levels from 2000 to 2010. But magnesium deficiency flies under the radar, even though around half of US adults don’t get enough to meet the daily recommended dietary allowance of 310-320mg for women and 400-420mg for men. And that makes a difference. Not only for powering up vitamin D, but, according to a study in BMC Medicine, an extra 100mg of dietary magnesium daily could reduce your risk of stroke by 7 percent and type 2 diabetes by 19 percent. So, to maintain a healthful level of vitamin D, talk to your doc about checking your magnesium level, and increase your consumption of magnesium-rich green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and salmon.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

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