Magnesium and vitamin D are two important nutrients that work in tandem with each other. While vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem within the U.S., in many places magnesium remains a forgotten part of the equation. Vitamin D is only made bioavailable in the body with the help of magnesium and experts recommend always supplementing the two together. Sometimes a vitamin D deficiency can actually be driven by low levels of magnesium.
A Crucial Mineral
Magnesium-rich foods include avocados, nuts, leafy green vegetables, salmon, and dark chocolate. A source for topical absorption is magnesium sulfate also known as Epson salt. Experts estimate that as many as 80% of people in the U.S. are not meeting the recommended daily requirements of magnesium. Take note that having optimized levels and not being deficient are not the same thing. A variety of things can be behind low magnesium levels such as eating too many processed or sugary foods, regular alcohol consumption, particular medications, or the absence of magnesium-rich foods in the diet.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D, contrary to the name, is a fat-soluble hormone produced by the body after exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in overall health. It is responsible for aiding the immune system, maintaining cardiovascular health, helping to prevent cancer, and maintaining strong bones.
Magnesium is able to lower or raise the level of vitamin D available and thereby acts as a regulator for vitamin D. The two work together in the body. Vitamin D requires magnesium in order to be utilized by the body. When magnesium is not available, the body will instead store vitamin D in the tissue. Low vitamin D levels may therefore remain low in spite of supplementation efforts because of this phenomenon.
There are several ways that magnesium levels may be raised naturally. Removing sugary or processed food from the diet will help by reducing the amount of magnesium needed. Those foods tend to create a nutrient deficit in the body as they do not provide back more nutrients than the nutrients they require to be processed by the body. Instead, replace those foods with nutrient-dense whole foods. It may be necessary to focus on adding more magnesium-rich foods into the diet. Great topical solutions include taking baths with Epson salt (magnesium sulfate) or using a daily magnesium spray. Depending on an individual’s situation, supplementation may still be necessary. Before starting supplementation, a doctor or nutritionist should be consulted about the appropriate dosage amounts.
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