Magnesium may be key to healthy Vitamin D

Magnesium may be key to healthy Vitamin D levels


Magnesium is an abundant mineral in our body, present in every cell, and necessary for over three hundred critical metabolic chemical reactions. Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the most important “supporting actor” mineral. It is does not get the attention of other nutrients like calcium and sodium, but is just as important for our health.

A research study just published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that if we have insufficient magnesium in our diets, that our Vitamin D levels are likely to be low, even if we seemingly are getting enough of Vitamin D via diet, supplements or sun exposure.

The researchers, from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee), studied the relationship between Vitamin D blood levels and magnesium intake in over 12,000 people who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Magnesium intake and Vitamin D

The results showed that people with high magnesium intake were much more likely to have healthy Vitamin D levels than people with low magnesium intake. This makes sense, since magnesium is an essential cofactor in the metabolism of Vitamin D inside our body.

Magnesium supplements given

The researchers then worked with a smaller group of 180 volunteers. They gave magnesium supplements to them all, and those that started with low Vitamin D levels showed a significant rise in their Vitamin D levels. Interestingly, in people who already had high blood levels of Vitamin D, giving magnesium supplements lowered their Vitamin D levels to a healthier level.

Mystery explained?

Many studies have been done on Vitamin D supplements and various diseases, and the results have been contradictory. For example, last month a large study showed that Vitamin D supplements did not lower the risk of colon cancer. But a study published in the last year gave basically opposite results.

The Vanderbilt researchers believe the missing factor—not calculated in these studies—was magnesium intake. It may be that the people taking adequate dietary magnesium were the ones most likely to benefits from Vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones, and to avoid osteoporosis as we age. As reported, research within the past decade has suggested adequate Vitamin D levels are also important to lower the risk of abdominal obesity, multiple sclerosis, chronic lung disease, autoimmune disease, and diabetes.

What you should do

The link between Vitamin D and magnesium will undergo further research, but in the meantime, it makes sense that we all pay attention to getting adequate magnesium in our diets. Severe magnesium deficiency is rare, but at least 50% of adults don’t take in an adequate amount in their diets.

Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, and to make sure you are getting enough, ensure you are regularly eating some of the foods with higher levels of magnesium such as:






Black beans

Whole wheat bread


Brown rice


In summary, ensuring you are getting adequate magnesium in your diet will help assure you have healthy Vitamin D levels as well!

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Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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