You cannot skip magnesium, especially when you are taking vitamin D as part of your supplement stack.
The reason? The mineral aids in the metabolism of vitamin D so it can be used by the body.
“People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realise how it gets metabolised,” researcher Mohammed Razzaque, a professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful or safe.”
Razzaque was part of a research review on magnesium which was published in the March issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. It suggests up to 50 percent of the US population is magnesium deficient.
“By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of vitamin D deficiency,” Razzaque said.
Scientists have found that people with higher magnesium intakes have higher bone mineral density, and a lower risk of osteoporosis, compared with people with lower intakes of magnesium.
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 grains.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, potassium and sodium. The element activates enzymes that are involved in important biological reactions, including the enzymes that play a vital role in vitamin D metabolism.
In the past few decades magnesium consumption from natural foods has decreased significantly due to industrialised agriculture and changes in the dietary habits of people.
Magnesium status is low in people who predominantly consume processed foods that are high in refined grains, fat, phosphate, and sugar.