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What Is the Connection between Vitamin D and Magnesium?

Magnesium is a co-factor for vitamin D, meaning that magnesium is needed for the body to process vitamin D.
Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are high in magnesium, an essential electrolyte that plays a role in numerous metabolic processes.
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  • Written By: B. Koch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2014
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There is a strong link between vitamin D and magnesium. Magnesium is a co-factor for vitamin D, meaning that magnesium is needed for the body to process vitamin D. It can be obtained through the diet by eating leafy green vegetables.

Magnesium is a mineral necessary to humans that is mainly obtained through the diet. It is found in nuts, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables. This mineral has many roles in the body such as encouraging the relaxation and normal functioning of muscles. It is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and essential nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency are varied and include muscle weakness and tremors, arrhythmia of the heart, depression, nausea, and elevated blood pressure.

Vitamin D is essential to many necessary functions in the human body. For example, vitamin D is involved in bone health, muscle heath, immune health, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, as well as calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Humans are able to synthesize their own vitamin D by exposing unprotected skin to direct sunlight, but it can also be found in dietary supplements and enriched foods.

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Magnesium is considered the most important co-factor in vitamin D absorption, meaning that the human body needs magnesium to properly metabolize and use vitamin D. Even if a person is consuming sufficient amounts of vitamin D, without enough magnesium, vitamin D cannot be effectively metabolized and production of active vitamin D metabolites is reduced. Too little magnesium can result in side effects reminiscent of low vitamin D intake such as poor bone health. If an individual is having problems increasing his levels of vitamin D, even after taking vitamin D supplements, this may be due to a magnesium deficiency.

This connection between vitamin D and magnesium can be seen in some children suffering from rickets. Rickets is a disease, most common to children, that affects the bones and is caused by a vitamin D deficiency. To remedy rickets, patients are given supplements of vitamin D, yet in some cases, when patients have low levels of magnesium, this vitamin D supplementation is not successful. In these cases, supplementing both vitamin D and magnesium has helped patients to recover.

It can be difficult to raise the body's level of magnesium. Taking magnesium supplements is not always effective, as magnesium is most readily absorbed when it is found in food. Eating magnesium rich foods, especially seeds and green leafy vegetables, is the best way to raise magnesium levels in the body.

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discographer
Post 3

Those who are worried about low magnesium levels need to see their doctor for a blood test. This is the only way to know whether magnesium is low in the body.

ysmina
Post 2

@donasmrs-- Be careful with magnesium supplements. Try to get your magnesium from real foods. Like the article said, eat lots of green leafy vegetables as they have the most magnesium.

I had the same problem as you and started taking magnesium regularly. Since magnesium is water soluble, I though that it was impossible to take too much. But I was wrong. After taking two doses of magnesium supplements one day, I developed a severe headache along with nausea and vomiting. I found no cause other than the magnesium. I stopped taking the supplements and the symptoms disappeared and never returned.

Magnesium is essential for vitamin D, but it's best to get both naturally. Not only does the body absorb it better, but it's not possible to get too much magnesium from food. No one could eat that much magnesium rich foods in one day. But it's rather easy to take too much of and overdose on magnesium tablets.

donasmrs
Post 1

Despite getting plenty of sunlight and drinking milk with vitamin D, I had a vitamin D deficiency. After running another blood test, my doctor discovered that I also have a magnesium deficiency. After I started supplementing with magnesium supplements, my vitamin D levels started increasing too.

We don't realize that in order for the body to function correctly, the body needs all of the essential vitamins and minerals. It's not enough to get plenty of just one or two. If I had known the link between magnesium and vitamin D, perhaps I could have avoided being deficient in vitamin D.

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