Being Deficient in Magnesium May Make You Deficient in Vitamin D6 months ago | Nutrition
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
It is my opinion that magnesium is a miracle mineral. It is one of the critical nutrients we need to stay healthy. It is an important cofactor for hundreds of processes and reactions in the body, including energy. It is also important in sugar breakdown and use, blood pressure regulation and muscle and nerve function, including the heart muscle.
Magnesium contributes to bone metabolism (mature bone is removed and new bone is formed) and the synthesis of RNA and DNA, which are part of our genes. It has antioxidant functions in more than one of the hundreds of reactions in the body that it is essential for.
(Antioxidants fight off toxins and other bad environmental hazards that can affect your body).
If all the benefits of this important mineral are not enough to encourage you to check whether your magnesium intake is appropriate by taking a nutrient test, then you should read further. A recent study found that magnesium optimizes vitamin D levels in the body. This means that magnesium may raise vitamin D levels in people who are deficient in vitamin D and lower the levels in people who have too much.
The concept that magnesium may have the ability to regulate vitamin D levels by lowering it in people who have too much of it is very important. Having too much of any nutrient (especially fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D) can be harmful. Many Americans are vitamin D deficient and usually resort to supplementation. The problem is sometimes they may not supplement properly.
“Nearly one in five U.S. adults are taking supplemental vitamin D, and a growing number are taking excessively high doses linked to an increased risk of fractures, falls, kidney stones and certain cancers, a new study suggests,” according to one report.
“Some studies suggest high doses [of vitamin D] may be associated with an elevated risk of prostate and pancreatic cancers, and deaths from all causes.”
“Signs of toxicity [as in having too much vitamin D] include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. And by raising blood levels of calcium, too much vitamin D can cause confusion, disorientation, and problems with heart rhythm. Excess vitamin D can also damage the kidneys,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to the NIH, adults should not exceed 4,000 IU per day of vitamin D.
And as important as the awareness of excessive vitamin D is, we have to also be aware of the dangers of insufficient levels of vitamin D. “In recent years, research has associated low blood levels of the vitamin with higher risks of everything from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to mood disorders and dementia,” reports Harvard Health.
So information in the form of credible studies suggesting that magnesium may play a role in controlling our vitamin D levels is highly relevant to our health and wellbeing.
“They [the research team] became interested in a role for magnesium because people synthesize vitamin D differently with levels of the vitamin in some individuals not rising even after being given high dosage supplements,” according to a report discussing the study.
One of the lead researchers suggested that a magnesium deficiency shuts down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway.
This new information should be good news for the nearly half of all Americans, 70 to 80 percent of those older than 70, who are not getting enough magnesium.
So it is imperative to consult a competent healthcare professional who can test your magnesium levels and then determine if you need to make any dietary changes or take supplements.
The study suggested that making changes to your diet (if your magnesium levels are low) is the best way to increase your magnesium. (Depending on sex and age, adults need around between 320 to 420 mg of magnesium per day).
Along with making sure your magnesium levels are balanced (and, of course, vitamin D as well), there are additional minerals that may help prevent disease. For more information on how an imbalance of minerals may affect your health, read Minerals - The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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