Magnesium—Absolutely Essential to Obtain Vitamin D Benefits


Earlier this year, I wrote about the connection between magnesium and vitamin D (“Taking Vitamin D? Don’t Forget the Magnesium!”), based on research that shows that not only does magnesium allow for proper vitamin D metabolism—which, among numerous benefits, reduces the calcium build-up that vitamin D causes—it is also essential for the efficient metabolism and utilization of calcium. A new study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition[1] confirms this and other research that links low magnesium levels with low vitamin D levels.

This latest study also revealed some startling new information indicating that magnesium optimizes vitamin D “status” in the body—increasing it in people with deficient levels and lowering it in people with too-high levels. This, researchers believe, is vitally important because people synthesize vitamin D differently. In some individuals, vitamin D levels were found to not rise even after being given high doses of the vitamin. Using magnesium in vitamin D studies, and via magnesium’s “raising/lowering vitamin D levels as needed” properties, more-reliable conclusions can be achieved in research regarding conditions related to vitamin D levels. Additionally, thanks to magnesium’s ability to balance and optimize vitamin D levels, more people will be able to enjoy the plethora of benefits that come from optimal—not too low, not too high—blood levels of this all-important vitamin.

Dr. Martha Shrubsole states: "Vitamin D insufficiency is something that has been recognized as a potential health problem on a fairly large scale in the U.S. A lot of people have received recommendations from their health care providers to take vitamin D supplements to increase their levels based upon their blood tests. In addition to vitamin D, however, magnesium deficiency is an under-recognized issue. Up to 80 percent of people do not consume enough magnesium in a day to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) based on those national estimates."

It’s no stretch to suggest that vitamin D and magnesium are the two nutrients that have more applications for more areas in human health than any other nutrient. As research is continuing to reveal, supplying your body with adequate amounts of magnesium is undeniably essential if any true benefits from vitamin D supplementation are to be enjoyed. This includes improved athletic performance—see “Vitamin D Delivers!

How much magnesium do you need?

The government-set Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 420 mg a day for males and 320 mg a day for females. While this is a good starting point in terms of optimizing your magnesium intake, keep in mind that consuming the RDA amounts are "just enough to ward off outright deficiency," according to Dr. Carolyn Dean.

A more appropriate amount to aim for is the Optimal Daily Intake (ODI) standard of 500-750 mg of magnesium. Dr. Shari Lieberman, who developed the ODIs, states: "In order to attain a state of optimum health and disease prevention, we must take into our bodies’ optimum—not minimum—amounts of vitamins and minerals.

In his hallmark paper, “Magnesium: The Key to Health and Life,” James South writes, "Magnesium expert Mildred Seelig discovered that for most people, at least 6 milligrams magnesium per kilogram of body weight is necessary to ensure a positive magnesium balance. This is roughly 2.7 milligrams magnesium per pound of body weight. For those under severe chronic stress, or who are engaged in strenuous work/athletic training that promotes intense sweating even higher levels might be required, up to 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or 4.5 milligrams per pound."

Keeping in mind that the Seelig study goes back to 1964, with our magnesium needs surely having increased since that time, this suggests a dose of 405 mg–675 mg of magnesium daily for a 150-pound athlete.

Essential Mg is the answer

Essential Mg contains 100 mg of elemental magnesium per capsule from five highly bioavailable forms: bisglycinate, succinate, citrate, malate, and taurinate. For numerous areas in human health—including optimizing vitamin D metabolism and utilization, thus allowing you to receive all of this vitamin’s benefits—Essential Mg is the ideal way to ensure that you're receiving optimal amounts of this all-important mineral.

[1] Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial; Qi Dai Xiangzhu Zhu JoAnn E Manson Yiqing Song Xingnan Li Adrian A Franke Rebecca B Costello Andrea Rosanoff Hui Nian Lei Fan Harvey Murff Reid M Ness Douglas L Seidner Chang Yu Martha J Shrubsole; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 108, Issue 6, 1 December 2018, Pages 1249–1258,