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The Nutrient that Unlocks the Power of Vitamin D

If you've regularly read my posts, you know that it’s very important to create synergy between your dietary and supplement programs.  The functional health of your body is driven by thousands of different physiological processes. The strength and efficiency of these processes are, in turn, driven by the four, core, physiological variables—vitamin D, essential fatty acids, nitric oxide, and micronutrients—each working to support the efficacy of the others. 

Just like a weak link can cause a chain to break, a deficiency in just one of these key nutrients can cause an entire system to fail.  While the use of a vitamin D supplement is good, its benefits are exponentially increased when it is taken in conjunction with omega 3 fatty acids and a broad-spectrum of micronutrients.

Recent research speaks to the importance of a specific micronutrient, magnesium, which is critical for vitamin D activity.  So critical, in fact, that it can actually boost vitamin D's ability to protect the human body from fatal heart disease and colon cancer by nearly 500 percent!  If your magnesium level is low, your body will not benefit fully from vitamin D supplementation—even if your vitamin D level is optimal.  A new study confirms close and interconnected relationship between magnesium and vitamin D.  Results indicate that adults with a magnesium intake of at least 100 mg of supplemental magnesium daily were at 70 percent less risk of being vitamin D deficient...

Approximately 75% of the American population is deficient in Vitamin D.  More than 80% have low magnesium. While vitamin D receives plenty of press coverage, magnesium does not.  This may be because it’s difficult to create a connection between low magnesium and a resulting disease state; its  roles and functions in the human body are simply too vast and numerous.  Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium binding sites on human proteins.  More than 300 different enzymatic actions rely on magnesium, including those responsible for energy production, muscular function, bone density, bowel motility, emotional balance, and stress resilience

The best source of magnesium is dark, green chlorophyll-rich foods (preferably organic as they contain more magnesium than their conventional nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium-fertilized counterparts).  Plants use chlorophyll to capture solar energy and convert it into metabolic energy. Magnesium is found in the center of the chlorophyll molecule; it’s what gives plants their green color and allows them to utilize the sun's light energy.  As an interesting aside, hemoglobin is the body’s parallel version of chlorophyll; it shares a similar, molecular structure with iron (instead of magnesium) at its center (which colors blood red).   

So how much magnesium do you actually need?

If you want to maximize the health benefits associated with optimal vitamin D, you need somewhere between 260 to 420 mg of magnesium daily. It is possible to achieve and maintain a healthy vitamin D level  without the use of dietary supplements simply by eating a varied diet that includes green leafy vegetables, almonds, dark chocolate, spices, pumpkin and flax seeds, and avocados.  Unfortunately, very few people eat these foods consistently enough to meet their minimum intake.

How should you supplement?

First, make a conscious commitment to eating more magnesium-rich foods.  And incorporate the daily use of an organic, powdered food concentrate like Core 4’s own Fruit-n-Veggie Mightblend.  Those who are under consistently high levels of physical or emotional stress, take prescription medications, or large amounts of calcium (which reduce magnesium levels) should also use a high-quality, topical magnesium product like those available from Ancient Minerals.

Interested in more information on magnesium? Read Dr. Joe Mercola's recent post.