Adapted from the Calmful Living online magazine, with permission from Natural Vitality, makers of Natural Calm magnesium.
You’ve likely heard it before: Getting enough vitamin D is critical for good health, but that’s not always easy to do.
With long, dark winters and limited vitamin D in our diets, it’s no wonder approximately 32% of Canadians have blood concentrations that are too low. (Source: Statistics Canada)
Supplementation of vitamin D can be a good solution, but not without the help of magnesium!
Why Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a powerhouse nutrient.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
According to the National Institutes of Health, adult males, females and pregnant/lactating women should get 200 IUs daily, and those over 70 need 600 IUs.
That said, a recent review published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association revealed that without enough magnesium in the body, supplemental vitamin D may remain inactive, or cause issues due to increased calcium and phosphate levels.
Why We Need Magnesium to Use Vitamin D
“Vitamin D needs to be metabolized in the liver and kidney to be functional, and the enzymes that help do that need magnesium to be bioactive,” says study co-author Mohammed S. Razzaque, MBBS, PhD, a professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Consumption of vitamin D supplements without enough magnesium can lead to problems such as vascular calcification. Calcification happens when calcium builds up in body tissue, blood vessels, or organs and vascular calcification refers to build-up in the arteries and veins.
How Much Magnesium Do I Need?
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. and bestselling author of The Magnesium Miracle, most North Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium. Dean recommends 500 mg daily as a healthy starting place, in line with the intake common for adults 100 years ago.
Health Canada sets a lower bar, suggesting 350 mg/day as an adequate intake. Even based on this modest figure, up to 65% of us fall short. Today, many Canadian adults are getting only 200 mg/day.
Unlike many nutrients, magnesium is depleted every twelve hours. It must be constantly replenished.
Eating magnesium-rich foods like avocados, almonds, spinach and soy and drinking mineral water is important, but almost everyone can benefit from magnesium supplementation.
Getting one’s daily allowance for magnesium allows both supplemental and naturally produced vitamin D to function at its full potential. “By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the dependency on vitamin D supplements,” says Razzaque.