Keep Up Your Magnesium Intake to Make Vitamin D Effective

Magnesium and Vitamin DNew research shows people with insufficient Magnesium intake may not be able to use the Vitamin D they are supplementing.  A study recently published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, showed that without enough Magnesium, Vitamin D could remain inactive and store in the body.  Individuals who have low Magnesium levels may be more at risk for developing conditions like bone disorders and cardiovascular disease which could be related to low Vitamin D levels.

Researchers explained Magnesium is the important element needed to allow the transformation of Vitamin D into a form usable by the body.  In a two stage process which occurs in the kidneys and liver Vitamin D in converted into its biologically active form 1,25[OH]2 D

(1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D).  This stage of the two stage process is dependent on Magnesium.  Also the Vitamin D binding protein activity which is responsible for transporting Vitamin D into the blood (the second stage of the two stage process) is dependent on Magnesium.  Researchers concluded that there is a synergy between Vitamin D and Magnesium.  In the study participants with optimum Magnesium levels required less supplemental Vitamin D to achieve acceptable Vitamin D levels.  Additionally adequate Vitamin D levels promoted effective Magnesium absorption.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body.  In the US around 75% of the population is believed to have insufficient intakes of Magnesium.  Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral found in the body after Calcium, Potassium and Sodium.  60% of the Magnesium in the body is found in bones and teeth.  Magnesium deficiency often is not detected because serum Magnesium may be a poor indicator of Magnesium status since the body maintains an internal equilibrium of serum Magnesium at the expense of bone and tissue levels.  In other words circulating levels of Magnesium could remain in the normal range even though the Magnesium levels in soft tissue, bone and teeth are depleted.

Even foods know to be high in Magnesium like almonds, beans, broccoli, brown rice, oatmeal, etc, have shown decreases in Magnesium levels of between 25% – 80%. Magnesium levels have decreased in our food sources due to increased usage of fertilizers, pesticides and even the refining processes used to process oils and grains.

Further studies are needed to determine appropriate doses of Magnesium supplementation needed to reduce Vitamin D associated disorders.

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Magnesium Status and Dementia: Is There a Link ?

Magnesium and DementiaA new study published in Neurology, shows people with either low or high blood levels of Magnesium may have a higher risk of developing dementia.

Approximately 9,500 individuals participated in this prospective study.  Participants with an average age of 65 who did not have dementia were followed for an average of 8 years.  Serum Magnesium levels were measured at the start of the study.  Results were adjusted for variables like alcohol intake, body mass index, smoking status and kidney function, which may affect dementia risks and Magnesium levels.  Participants were divided into quintiles based on their serum Magnesium levels.

During this follow up period, over 800 individuals developed dementia.  Over 650 of these individuals were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The incidence of dementia was found to be 30% higher in both the lowest blood Magnesium groups and the highest blood Magnesium groups.  Since this was an observational study only, no causality could be determined from the study outcomes.

There was however a few limitations on the way the study was set up.  First, Magnesium levels were only taken at the onset of the study, so changes in these blood levels may have occurred during the follow up period.  Second, blood levels of Magnesium may not be a reliable measure of total body Magnesium, meaning a person can have a normal serum Magnesium level and still have a Magnesium deficiency.  These limitations confirm that further research is needed.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists Magnesium as being involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, such as helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, keeping our bones strong as well as supporting a healthier immune response.  This important mineral is also necessary for supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management.  70% – 80% of the population in the United States is not achieving the recommended intakes of daily Magnesium.

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Magnesium Pills May Improve Blood Pressure in At-Risk Populations

Magnesium and High Blood PressureA new meta-analysis found individuals with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or other non-communicable chronic disease have a higher risk for hypertension (High Blood Pressure) but supplementation with Magnesium may lower their blood pressure.

11 gold-standard randomized controlled trials were reviewed.  Researchers found Magnesium supplementation significantly decreased both systolic (4.18 mmHg) and diastolic (2.27 mmHg) blood pressure.  It is believed that Magnesium effects vascular tone and thus improves endothelium (the layer of cells lining blood vessels) function which directly lowers blood pressure.  Additionally Magnesium has been reported to have a synergistic effect when combined with medications that are considered to be antihypertensive.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists Magnesium as being involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, such as helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, keeping our bones strong as well as supporting a healthier immune response.  This important mineral is also necessary for supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management.  70% – 80% of the population in the United States is not achieving the recommended intakes of daily Magnesium.

Researcher concluded that a well-designed, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical study is warranted to provide more substantial evidence as to the benefits of Magnesium supplementation on blood pressure as well as disease outcomes in patients with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and other non-communicable chronic diseases.

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Adequate Magnesium Intakes May Boost Bone Health

Magnesium and BonesA new study points to increasing magnesium intakes which may reduce the risk of fractures in older women, but the benefits for older men are not as clear.

Data from over 3,700 individuals with an average age of 60, who participated in the Osteoarthritis Initiative, was used for this study.  During the 8 years of data analyzed 560 people developed new fractures.  Participants with the highest average intake of Magnesium (398 mg/day for men and 373 mg/day for women) had a significant reduction in the risk of developing fractures (53% for men and 62% for women).  When height was taken into account the risk of fracture reduction fell to 25% for men and 53% for women.

Since only 27% of the study participants reached the RDA for Magnesium (420 mg for men and 320 mg for women over 30), it is believed that this may account for the change in the  risk factors for both men and women when height is taken into account.

Further randomize controlled trails are needed to fully understand the role Magnesium plays in delaying and reducing fractures.

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Study Finds Magnesium May Ease Depression Symptoms

Anxiety restlesness and depressionIn this open-label randomized cross-over study, participants were adults experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of depression (scores of 5-19 on the Public Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)).  The enrollment in the study covered a period of over one full year.  This was done to minimize the number of cases of seasonal depression participating in this trial.  The study period lasted six weeks.  Participants supplemented with 248 mg of elemental magnesium per day.

PHQ-9 scores were reduced by a significant 6 points and Generally Anxiety Disorders-7 scores dropped 4.5 points. Reductions in PHQ-9 scores of 5 or more are considered clinically relevant changes in persons who are receiving treatment for depression.  The improvements seen, occurred no matter what gender, age or baseline depression score of the participant.  Additionally subjects taking pharmaceutical antidepressants during the study period saw even larger reductions in PHQ-9 scores.  Most participants taking the magnesium supplement saw some improvements in their scores within two weeks from the start of supplementation.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body.  The researchers hoped to see larger clinical trials that extend over a longer time period to verify the results of this study.

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Magnesium Supplements Show Potential Anti-Inflammatory Effects

MagnesiumA new meta-analysis found supplementing with Magnesium may reduce levels of inflammatory biomarkers.

11 randomized controlled trials were used for this meta-analysis which was designed to study how plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) was affected by oral Magnesium supplementation.  CRP is an established marker of inflammation and is high in individuals with chronic inflammation.  Researchers found individuals with elevated CRP levels at the start of the trials who supplemented with Magnesium saw a significant reduction in CRP levels over the length of the studies.

Magnesium is an important and often overlooked mineral.  It is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body including but not limited to keeping bones strong, supporting a healthy immune function, keeping the heart rhythm study and helping maintain normal nerve and muscle function.  Between 70% – 80% of the population in the United States does not intake the recommended daily dose of Magnesium.

More studies are warranted.

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Magnesium May Promote Bone Health and Prevent Fractures

Magnesium and Bone HealthA new study has found a decrease in the risk of bone fractures when the body has healthy blood levels of magnesium.

Data from over 2000 men ages 42 to 61 years of age was analyzed for this study.  A follow up period occurred 25.6 years later.  123 fractures were recorded at the follow up.  78 of the fractures recorded were in the hip area.  At the onset of the study 136 men had low blood levels of magnesium (1.8 mg/dl) and 22 men had an excess of magnesium in their blood (2.3 mg/dl).  There was a 44% reduction in the risk of experiencing a fracture in the men with higher blood levels of magnesium.  The men with the lower blood levels of magnesium had the highest risks of experiencing fractures especially in the hip. None of the 22 men who had excess magnesium in their blood experienced any fractures on follow up.

Researchers are not sure that blood levels of magnesium can be increased by diet alone, especially with the elderly who have bowel and digestive conditions and are prone to fractures.  Low blood levels of magnesium are very common.  Current recommendations for Adequate Intakes (AI) for magnesium are 350 mg daily for men and 300 mg daily for women.  Children should be in taking between 170 and 300 mg depending on their age.

Further well designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to determine the therapeutic potential of this important mineral.

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