Why is magnesium important for you to absorb vitamin D?

If you are taking vitamin D supplements, but do not reach the levels of between 30 and 50 nanograms per deciliter of blood that a consensus document from the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN) recommends, consider increase magnesium intake (meanwhile, these creams will leave you looking good instantly). A new clinical study by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville (USA) has found that this mineral is so necessary for the synthesis of the sun vitamin (It is called that because our body produces it when we expose the skin to sunlight), that the adequate consumption of magnesium regulates its levels, whether they are low or high. "It’s really interesting, because if the vitamin D deficiency is harmful to health, excessive levels of this vitamin can generate hypercalcemia (excess calcium in the blood), with potentially serious consequences, "explain the authors of the work, published last in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Specialists had always suspected that there was still a piece to discover in the vitamin D puzzle, because there were patients who could not reach the recommended levels not even taking supplements.

This is the case of Marisa Bescansa, 51, who has been taking her doctor's prescription for several months vitamin D3 capsules (colecalciferol) daily: "How do I suffer from this deficit, I have read a lot on the subject and I am concerned about not achieving the necessary levels, because I know that vitamin D works as a hormone and that it is essential not only for the bones, but also for prevent cardiovascular problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, mental disorders … In my case I went to the specialist because I felt joint pain, weakness and tiredness. Upon seeing my test, the doctor told me that my symptoms had to do with my vitamin D levels, which barely exceeded 10 ng / dl. The problem is that, with treatment, they do not reach 20 ng / dl, which is also considered deficiency. "

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The study, carried out in the USA, helps to understand its symptoms. "We have found that magnesium deficiency closes the metabolic pathway of vitamin D, preventing the body from synthesizing it. Given today's low consumption of magnesium-rich foods and poor outdoor living, it is understandable why vitamin D deficiency is an increasingly frequent problem, "explains dr. Qi Dai, lead author of the paper and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

What diet suits me ?:

  • Two presumed culprits of the low levels of magnesium in the population are the superprocessed diet that we carry today (very poor in magnesium) and the exhaustive agricultural exploitation, which has emptied the soils of this mineral and, as a consequence, the harvests obtained are poor in it.
  • If we want to include magnesium in our meals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, cocoa, avocados and nuts, which are especially rich in magnesium, cannot be missing.
  • For their part, blue fish, cod liver oil, oysters and clams, shrimp and prawns, egg yolk, mushrooms and enriched milk are especially rich in vitamin D.

A new approach

In addition to its relationship with vitamin D synthesis, the low magnesium intake it is a risk in itself, because this mineral intervenes in hundreds of vital functions, including the production of energy, muscle contractions and the transmission of nerve impulses. Convulsions, cramps, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, hypertension, insomnia, tiredness, migraines, weakness, arrhythmias … are, in fact, magnesium deficiency symptoms. "We were not surprised at all that one of its many functions is to facilitate the synthesis of vitamin D," said the researchers, who believe that an additional intake of 200 mg of magnesium daily may be sufficient to improve vitamin status. D in most people.

Getting those 200 mg is not difficult. An avocado has 58 mg of magnesium and a slice of whole wheat bread, 20 mg. Choosing whole grain products is important because the magnesium present in the husk (or bran) of the grain is lost when it is removed to make white flours.

The current diet and lifestyle help to understand vitamin D deficiency. As appears in the magazine of Osteoporosis and Mineral Metabolism, even in Spain, where there is no lack of sun, the problem affects half of people aged 18 and 60 years and 87% of those over 60 years. Another interesting fact: the Vanderbilt University study has also found that, even in people without magnesium deficiency, supplementing with it helps to reverse vitamin D deficiency resistant to standard treatment.

Beware of toxicity:

Two alleged culprits of the low magnesium levels in the population are the superprocessed diet that we carry today (very poor in magnesium) and the exhaustive agricultural exploitation, which has emptied the soils of this mineral and, as a consequence, the harvests obtained are poor in it.

If we want include magnesium in our mealsYou cannot miss green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, cocoa, avocados and nuts, which are especially rich in magnesium. For their part, they are especially rich in vitamin D the blue fish, cod liver oil, oysters and clams, prawns and prawns, egg yolk, mushrooms and enriched milk.

The consumption of 600 international units of vitamin D daily for healthy children and adults. Like the megadose of supplements can provoke toxicity (This does not happen with sun exposure, because the body regulates the amount produced, and it is unlikely with food, because they contain small amounts of vitamin D), these should not be taken without medical supervision.

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