Vitamin D and magnesium are both essential nutrients to optimize the body's overall health. In recent studies, it has been discovered the two nutrients actually work together to reap the full benefits of both the vitamin and mineral.
Patients who do not receive enough magnesium typically feel sluggish and stressed, but this is not the worst of it. Magnesium also helps the body absorb and metabolize vitamin D. Without magnesium, vitamin D is not as useful or safe and can cause calcium buildup, which can lead to kidney disease and other health complications.
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps muscles, nerves, and the immune system work appropriately, in addition to helping the body absorb calcium. The calcium and vitamin D then work together to help preserve healthy teeth and bones.
Vitamin D can be acquired through direct sunlight, which can make it a problematic nutrient to obtain during the winter months. However, individuals can also obtain it through supplements and some foods, such as cow’s milk, egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, fortified yogurts, orange juice, as well as soy and rice beverages.
If you are uncertain if you’re meeting the daily requirements, get blood tests done to check your vitamin D levels. Now that you know what vitamin D is, keep reading to find out what magnesium is.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and an essential nutrient. It has many vital roles, including in bone health, calcium absorption, heart health, energy creation, protein formation, muscle movements, and nervous system regulation.
Individuals can get magnesium through supplements, as well as foods such as pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach and swiss chard, dark chocolate, black beans, quinoa, almonds, cashews, avocado, halibut, mackerel, and salmon. However, some foods or drinks that may put patients at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency, and they include alcohol, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks, and sweets.
How Vitamin D Levels Are Affected By Low Magnesium
Magnesium aids in both vitamin D production and use. It is also needed to activate the enzymes that help the body metabolize vitamin D. A study proved using magnesium supplements alongside vitamin D supplements was more effective at remedying vitamin D deficiency than using vitamin D alone. Not only does magnesium play a key role in the proper function of vitamin D, but it also helps calcium balance.
If a patient is low in magnesium and decides to supplement vitamin D, they may be at a higher risk of obtaining calcium deposits in their arteries. However, magnesium can prevent the calcification of arteries.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Statistics indicate between forty and fifty percent of healthy individuals don’t meet their vitamin D requirements. Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, asthma in children, cognitive impairment, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The causes of vitamin D deficiency vary and include not having enough exposure to sunlight, not consuming enough vitamin D (which is likely on a vegan diet), having darker skin, kidneys unable to convert vitamin D to its active form, a digestive tract that cannot absorb vitamin D properly, and obesity. The only treatment is to get more vitamin D from diet and supplements.
Reports indicate approximately half of the population fail to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium. However, if the patient is otherwise healthy, they are likely not to experience any symptoms of low magnesium unless it occurs for a long time.
Some of the symptoms of low magnesium or deficiency include poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. In extreme cases, patients may experience tremors and muscle spasms. If low magnesium levels persist, they can weaken the bones, cause headaches, feelings of nervousness, and may even damage the heart. Luckily, there are supplements available to boost magnesium levels.