Who knew? Actually, everyone who reads my blogs knows that Vitamin D uses up your stores of magnesium. “Low Magnesium Levels Make Vitamin D Ineffective” confirms what I’ve been saying for years. The American Osteopathic Association in this paper reports that up to 50% of the US population is magnesium deficient, which means they are unable to utilize Vitamin D.
Basically vitamin D can’t be metabolized from the inactive form to the active form without sufficient magnesium. So you may be all tanked up with lots of inactive Vitamin D – which happens to be the blood test that doctors do – yet you don’t have enough magnesium to turn it into active vitamin D. Another interesting point coming from this research is that the Vitamin D supplements can increase your calcium and phosphate but you are still Vitamin D deficient. This adds to the problem of vascular calcification, which they say occurs if your magnesium levels aren’t high enough.
The co-author of the study says that “People are taking Vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, Vitamin D is not really useful or safe.”
Here’s the scenario I write about in The Magnesium Miracle (2017) “You’ve been feeling great on your magnesium, and then you begin taking high-dose vitamin D and find yourself experiencing magnesium deficiency symptoms again. Magnesium is involved in 8 chemical reactions required to transform vitamin D from its storage form into its active form. That means if you take the extremely high doses that allopathic doctors are now recommending, you can plummet into magnesium deficiency and not know why. For this reason I don’t recommend more than 1,000–2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. And never take vitamin D without magnesium.”
Here is a more detailed explanation of Vit D and magnesium in Chapter 2 of Magnesium Miracle:
“Optimum vitamin D levels are actually more toward the low normal end of the range (around 40 ng/mL), not the high end. The range for 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) is from 30.0 to 74.0 ng/mL. The paper “Magnesium, Vitamin D Status and Mortality” in the BMC Medicine displays a detailed flow chart of vitamin D metabolism, which shows that magnesium is required in 8 crucial steps.[i] This is vital information that every doctor prescribing vitamin D and every person taking vitamin D needs to know and needs to act on.
The investigators said ‘Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status. The associations between serum 25(OH)D and risk of mortality may be modified by the intake level of magnesium. Future studies, including cohort studies and clinical trials, are necessary to confirm the findings.’ Let me repeat, it is possible that magnesium intake alone…may contribute to vitamin D status.
From the existing literature, we know that low vitamin D increases the risk of mortality and morbidity and magnesium plays an essential role in vitamin D metabolism. Putting these two facts together, researchers in a 2015 study investigated whether magnesium intake modifies the serum 25(OH)D3 concentration and its association with mortality in middle-aged and older men.[ii] The study included 1892 men aged 42–60 years without cardiovascular disease or cancer. They concluded that low serum 25(OH)D3 concentration was associated with increased risk of death mainly in those with lower magnesium intake.”
For optimum bone balance I recommend the minerals in ReMag, ReMyte, and ReCalcia (if you get less than 600mg of calcium in your diet), and Blue Ice Royal, which provides Vitamins A, D, K2, and omega-3 fatty acids from fermented cod liver oil and butter oil.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
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