Vitamin D and magnesium go together like peanut butter and chocolate, day and night, socks and shoes, and soap and water.
The bottom line is this--If you’re supplementing with vitamin D, it might not be enough.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that due to its steroidal structure, acts more like a hormone in the body than a vitamin. Vitamin D is responsible for supporting many bodily functions—healthy bones and teeth, immune function, neuro-muscular health, cellular regeneration, glucose metabolism, and more. How well you absorb vitamin D, however, is dependent on additional factors, so just supplementing with vitamin D may not be cutting it.
External factors such as getting optimal amounts of sunlight daily play a role in vitamin D’s absorption, so definitely get outside daily, if possible, for about 20-30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen. Vitamin D may also be obtained through food sources, such as fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, mushrooms, and fortified milks such as coconut and almond.
But even if you’re supplementing with enough vitamin D, your body may have issues utilizing it appropriately if you have an underlying magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps activate the absorption and utility of vitamin D. This pairing also initiates the regulation of calcium and phosphate, other nutrients instrumental in supporting healthy bones. When you’re deficient in either vitamin D or magnesium, you have the potential of running into trouble—skeletal issues, autoimmune disease, metabolic issues, cardiovascular disease and more.
Even if you’re not magnesium deficient now, you increase your chances of becoming magnesium deficient if you’re supplementing with vitamin D without also supplementing with magnesium. Vitamin D requires magnesium for its own absorption, and it will tap into body stores of magnesium to use for its own absorption. Most people today have low magnesium levels simply because our soil and food lack the nutrient content it once had. Add vitamin D supplementation to the mix and this deficiency may develop into physical symptoms.
So, how do you know if you have an underlying magnesium deficiency? Magnesium deficiency symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, heart palpitations, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety and more. In addition, your lab work might show that your vitamin D levels are low in spite of supplementation. The low magnesium levels can affect your body’s ability to utilize vitamin D.
It is estimated that over 70% of the American population is magnesium deficient. Groups innately at risk of magnesium deficiency include those who consume alcohol regularly, diabetics, people with gastrointestinal issues, such as Leaky Gut Syndrome and IBS, the elderly, and those with autoimmune issues.
The United States Recommended Daily Allowance of Magnesium is on the lower end:
250-300 mg for women
400 mg for men
If you are currently magnesium deficient, you may need more than the above recommendations.
Keep in mind that all magnesium forms are not created equally. Many forms exist on the market and their effects on the body vary. Some are more bioavailable than others. Magnesium Glycinate is thought to be the most bioavailable form, helping to increase magnesium levels better than other forms. Unlike magnesium citrate and oxide, it isn’t harsh on the stomach—it won’t cause the common side effects, such as loose stools and digestive upset.
Magnesium Malate is another bioavailable form with interesting characteristics. It helps chelate aluminum and other heavy metals from the body, reducing your toxic load. Other roles it plays include helping manage pain associated with fibromyalgia and lowering c-reactive protein levels, a biomarker of systemic inflammation.
For optimal absorption of vitamin D, it is recommended that vitamin D and magnesium be taken at different times of day. Being fat soluble, vitamin D is best absorbed with a meal that contains healthy fat and should be taken earlier in the day, since it does boost energy levels. Magnesium, on the other hand, relaxes the body and promotes better sleep. It is best to supplement with magnesium closer to bedtime (and can be taken with or without food).
Our Optimum Magnesium™ contains both Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Malate in chelated forms for optimal absorption and is a perfect pairing to our Vegan D3+K2.
Our Vegan D3+K2 utilizes vegan Vitamin D3 from wild-sourced Canadian lichen along with two essential forms of K2 (MK-4 + MK-7). Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, while Vitamin K2 helps the body ensure that calcium is properly utilized (i.e., that it is ending up in the bones and not in the heart and blood vessels). Vitamin K2 keeps calcium in bones and teeth and out of soft tissues.