Safe Supplementation: Can I Take Magnesium With Vitamin D?
In our efforts to get or remain healthy, we often turn to supplements to get the recommended daily allowance of both vitamins and minerals. So, can I take magnesium with vitamin D?
Since magnesium and vitamin D are vital nutrients and our body uses them in its natural environment, we often assume that we can take what we need safely.
After all, multivitamins combine many vitamins and minerals and are deemed safe. But just like anything else, we must use caution concerning dosage and combination.
Magnesium and vitamin D are two common supplements that are often taken together. We’ll tell you why you can and should take magnesium and vitamin D supplements together, whether from natural food sources or supplements.
But first, let’s look at each of these nutrients and their roles in our bodies.
What is Magnesium? What About Magnesium Deficiency?
Magnesium is an essential mineral our body needs to function correctly. It serves a vital role in helping our muscles stay loose and relaxed. It also helps you stay flexible, repairs your skin, helps when you are tired, and helps you get a good night’s sleep.
In addition, it plays a role in joint health, metabolism, and the nervous system.
A lack of magnesium leads to poor sleep, feeling tired, and heart problems. Magnesium supplementation is a great way to counteract those pesky symptoms.
What is Vitamin D? What About Vitamin D Deficiency?
Vitamin D is also a key element to good health. One has to do little more than spend time in the sunshine for their daily dose.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the body’s ability to absorb calcium, strengthen the immune system, regulate blood pressure, help bones grow and teeth develop, and keep muscles functioning.
Vitamin D has several forms, and we’re going to focus on vitamin D3, obtained naturally by mainly eating animal products. When looking to supplement with vitamin D, look for D3.
How much vitamin D your body needs will depend on each person individually. A lack of vitamin D can lead to achy, weak bones and muscles, increased risk of colds, gut issues, and symptoms of depression.
People are at risk of vitamin D deficiency in more in winter months when they tend to spend a lot more time indoors.
Taking Vitamin D and Magnesium Together
The above descriptions show some commonalities in how the body uses vitamin D and magnesium—mainly in muscle function, but it goes much deeper than that.
Many vitamins and minerals depend on others to become available to your cells.
Magnesium and vitamin D work together in the body, and, in fact, vitamin D needs magnesium to serve its function in the body.
Do You Need Magnesium to Absorb Vitamin D?
Yes, the bioavailability of vitamin D relies on magnesium.
The liver and kidneys have enzymes that convert vitamin D into calcitriol, which the body uses. In this form, our vitamin D levels can regulate our calcium levels.
Every cell in our body has vitamin D receptors that turn up nearly 2,000 genes within the cell on or off. It is crucial to cellular changes.
Health Benefits of Magnesium and Vitamin D
As we age, our bodies create fewer vitamins and minerals, leading to muscle issues, tiredness, and trouble sleeping. Magnesium and vitamin D play roles in these functions and many more.
From preventing cancer to regulating blood pressure to treating chronic illnesses, PMS, and heartburn, it’s easy to see why a magnesium supplement has become popular.
If you suffer from any of these ailments, you may be deficient in magnesium, or vitamin D.
Here are some health benefits associated with these nutrients:
Relieve Muscle Tension and Muscle Spasms
Magnesium helps to relax muscle cells. Without proper amounts, the muscles may cramp or experience spasms.
Some use magnesium baths and dietary supplements after workouts or when they feel tension to relax those muscles.
Vitamin D is linked with better muscle health in older adults when combined with an active lifestyle and weight-bearing exercises.
Reduce Tiredness and Fatigue
Magnesium creates energy from foods and converts it into proteins, which in turn provides energy for your body.
Additionally, magnesium regulates hormones like serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep). Better sleep at night reduces fatigue during the day.
Improve Quality of Sleep
Magnesium relaxes you and helps you sleep better by communicating with your brain that it’s time to rest.
There are promising studies that show that magnesium could help with insomnia. Healthy magnesium levels contribute to healthy sleep cycles.
Those that suffer from restless legs syndrome might try magnesium for its muscle-relaxing benefits, which may lead to more restful sleep.
While vitamin D may suppress melatonin levels, a lack of vitamin D disrupts sleep quality. Studies show that vitamin D supports the immune system and manages inflammation, which may also improve sleep.
There is a correlation between muscle pain and low vitamin D levels. Lack of vitamin D prevents compounds from forming that play a crucial role in healing wounds.
Vitamin D also keeps muscles healthy, so they bounce back from exercise much faster.
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant that moves sugar into your muscles and lactic acid out, supporting your muscles during and after exercise.
A side benefit of magnesium’s ability to relax muscles can lead to better flexibility as relaxed muscles are able to stretch further. This can be enhanced by regular stretching and eating magnesium-rich foods.
Muscle weakness is also a sign of vitamin D deficiency, so it makes sense that getting enough of the nutrient also plays a role in muscle health and flexibility.
Repair and Replenish Skin
Soaking in Epsom salts is easy to absorb magnesium into the skin and helps with muscle pains. The jury is still out with regard to magnesium in beauty products.
Magnesium does play a role in cellular change and the protection of free radicals. Those free radicals are responsible for fine lines and wrinkles, so adding magnesium can play a role in keeping our vitality.
Another theory is that in the same way that magnesium relaxes muscles, it can be absorbed through our pores and contribute to healthy skin.
How to Take Vitamin D and Magnesium
Vitamin D and magnesium can be found naturally in food sources, from the sunlight (vitamin D), or through supplements.
It would be best to get your baseline levels tested and speak to your healthcare practitioner to ensure that you get the correct form and dosage for your specific needs.
An oral tablet is the best way to take vitamin D or magnesium supplements.
The recommended intake for magnesium is 300mg for adult males and 270mg for adult women.
The recommended intake of vitamin D is 15 mcg per day. If you are older than 71, you can bump that dose up to 20mcg.
People who may need extra vitamin D supplementation include the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who get little sunlight exposure, and people who have darker skin.
Look for vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, as this closely mimics the type found naturally in our body.
Since vitamin D’s best food sources are from animal-based foods, vegetarians and vegans should consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement.
While magnesium also comes in a transdermal supplement that can be applied on the skin, an oral form is recommended to ensure proper absorption.
Getting the proper vitamin D and magnesium ratio when using supplements can be tricky.
Too much magnesium can lead to hypermagnesemia, with symptoms of breathing trouble, hypotension, muscle weakness, and heart problems.
Too much vitamin D is hypercalcemia or too much calcium in your blood. You may become nauseous and weak, leading to bone pain and kidney problems.
Natural Food Sources
Like most vitamins and minerals, we can obtain them through food sources. A well-balanced diet with a variety of foods is enough for most of us.
Vitamin D’s most basic source is not food but sunlight. You should get outside around midday and spend 15-30 minutes soaking up some rays.
But for those who can’t get out in the sun at least a few days a week or consider the sun too harsh on their skin, some foods provide at least some of the recommended daily value. These include oily fish, egg yolks, liver, fish oils (cod liver oil), cheese, yogurt, and fortified foods.
Magnesium comes from spinach, nuts, beans, bananas, avocados, dark chocolate, fatty fish, soy, and whole grains. Also, eat almonds, cashews, pumpkin, and chia seeds.
The Final Take-Home
Magnesium and vitamin D are partners in the body.
Magnesium helps the body absorb vitamin D and plays a significant role in how much the body produces.
As we age, the body could use some help in getting enough of these vital nutrients, which is why many turn to supplements.
If you are low in vitamin D, you might also be low in magnesium. Without magnesium, a person cannot absorb vitamin D.
In addition to eating a healthy diet high in these two nutrients and exercising, a supplement could boost your levels and alleviate some chronic symptoms.
Check out our blog for more information on nutrient absorption and how supplements can help.