Up to 50 percent of US population is magnesium
February 26, 2018
American Osteopathic Association
Vitamin D can’t be metabolized without sufficient
magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for as many as
50 percent of Americans. In addition, Vitamin D supplements can increase a
person’s calcium and phosphate levels even while they remain Vitamin D
deficient. People may suffer from vascular calcification if their magnesium
levels aren’t high enough to prevent the complication.
There is a caveat to the push for increased Vitamin
D: Don’t forget magnesium.
A review published in The Journal of the American
Osteopathic Association found Vitamin D can’t be metabolized without
sufficient magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for
as many as 50 percent of Americans.
“People are taking Vitamin D supplements but
don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, Vitamin D is not
really useful or safe,” says study co-author Mohammed S. Razzaque, MBBS,
PhD, a professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Razzaque explains that consumption of Vitamin D
supplements can increase a person’s calcium and phosphate levels even if they
remain Vitamin D deficient. The problem is people may suffer from vascular
calcification if their magnesium levels aren’t high enough to prevent the
Patients with optimum magnesium levels require less
Vitamin D supplementation to achieve sufficient Vitamin D levels. Magnesium
also reduces osteoporosis, helping to mitigate the risk of bone fracture that
can be attributed to low levels of Vitamin D, Razzaque noted.
Deficiency in either of these nutrients is reported
to be associated with various disorders, including skeletal deformities,
cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.
While the recommended daily allowance for magnesium
is 420 mg for males and 320 mg for females, the standard diet in the United
States contains only about 50 percent of that amount. As much as half of the
total population is estimated to be consuming a magnesium-deficient diet.
Researchers say the magnesium consumption from
natural foods has decreased in the past few decades, owing to industrialized
agriculture and changes in dietary habits. Magnesium status is low in
populations who consume processed foods that are high in refined grains, fat,
phosphate, and sugar.
“By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium,
one may be able to lower the risks of Vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the
dependency on Vitamin D supplements,” says Razzaque.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the
human body after calcium, potassium, and sodium. Foods high in magnesium
include almonds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, cashews, egg yolk, fish
oil, flaxseed, green vegetables, milk, mushrooms, other nuts, oatmeal, pumpkin
seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sweet corn, tofu, and whole
Materials provided by American
Osteopathic Association. Note: Content may be edited for
style and length.
- Anne Marie Uwitonze, Mohammed S. Razzaque. Role of
Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. The Journal of the
American Osteopathic Association, 2018; 118 (3): 181 DOI: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.037