28 Feb 2018 --- The body cannot metabolize bone-strengthening vitamin D with low magnesium levels, says a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. While the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 420 mg for males and 320 mg for females, the standard diet in the US contains only about 50 percent of that amount. As much as half of the total population is estimated to be consuming a magnesium-deficient diet. Meaning, the benefits of vitamin D - such as bone health - may be lost.
Mohammed S. Razzaque, the study co-author and professor of Pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains that consumption of vitamin D supplements can increase a person's calcium and phosphate levels even if they remain vitamin D deficient. The problem is people may suffer from vascular calcification if their magnesium levels aren't high enough to prevent the complication. Vascular calcification can be life-threatening.
"By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of vitamin D deficiency and reduce the dependency on vitamin D supplements," says Razzaque.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, potassium and sodium. Foods that are high in magnesium include almonds, beans, seeds, fish oil and whole grains. However, researchers say that magnesium consumption from these natural sources has decreased in the past few decades. Magnesium status is very low in populations who consume processed foods that are high in refined grains, fat, phosphate and sugar.
Magnesium fortified foods
Health concerns have fueled an intriguing market growth for fortified mineral items. NutritionInsight has previously reported on this growing market.
Dr. Paul Lohmann Sales Director Klaus Brockhausen tells NutritionInsight, “The supplement industry is seeing not just the need for standard tablets or capsules, but also an increased interest in gels and shots, instant beverage powders and different kinds of bars in combination with protein enrichments products.”
In this way, the general public can enrich their diets with mineral items to fortify their food, which will produce a sufficient bodily mineral balance. As the research suggests, this balance can lead to health benefits ranging from stronger bones to less vitamin D deficiencies.