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Magnesium and Vitamin D

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The pair ensure absorption

There is a lot of buzz around getting enough Vitamin D, especially over dreary winter months when we tend to spend most of our time indoors. Now that summer is almost upon us (June 21st marks the day!), we may think we’re in the clear, but not so fast! A review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, brings a new piece to the Vitamin D story to light. Scientists have known that some nutrients act in a synchronized way, meaning that absorption of one vitamin or mineral relies on the availability of others. Investigators have shown this to be true for Vitamin D and Magnesium (Mg).

In order for Vitamin D to carry out functions related to bone, joint and heart health, it needs to be converted from an inactive or “storage” form to an “active” form. This process is very much dependent on the availability of the mineral Mg in the body, no Mg means no conversion. Data showed that higher Mg intakes reduced the risk of Vitamin D deficiency too. They also found that those with sufficient Mg levels required less Vitamin D supplementation to achieve adequate levels.

Complicating the issue even further, two thirds of us just don’t get enough Mg in our diets even though it’s found in a variety of foods including bananas, almonds, black beans and green vegetables like spinach. Researchers attributed our lack of the mineral to changes in the Western diet as well as agricultural and industrial practices that may remove Mg during processing. We should be aiming for 420mg and 320mg daily for males and females respectively.

Try these two seasonal warm weather dishes that help you get to your Mg goal too! Stuffed Bananas with Cilantro Sauce (21mg) and Frozen Banana Pops (28mg), yumm!

Note: When it comes to Vitamin D, aim for sources that provide D3, such as milk, eggs and fatty fish. D3 is more effective in raising your levels than the alternative D2 which is commonly found in fortified foods, supplements and mushrooms grown under UV light.

Published June 1, 2018

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