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Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):25-43. doi: 10.3945/an.115.008631. Print 2016 Jan.

Essential Nutrient Interactions: Does Low or Suboptimal Magnesium Status Interact with Vitamin D and/or Calcium Status?

Author information

1
Center for Magnesium Education and Research, Pahoa, HI; arosanoff@gmail.com.
2
Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; and.
3
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

Abstract

Although much is known about magnesium, its interactions with calcium and vitamin D are less well studied. Magnesium intake is low in populations who consume modern processed-food diets. Low magnesium intake is associated with chronic diseases of global concern [e.g., cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and skeletal disorders], as is low vitamin D status. No simple, reliable biomarker for whole-body magnesium status is currently available, which makes clinical assessment and interpretation of human magnesium research difficult. Between 1977 and 2012, US calcium intakes increased at a rate 2-2.5 times that of magnesium intakes, resulting in a dietary calcium to magnesium intake ratio of >3.0. Calcium to magnesium ratios <1.7 and >2.8 can be detrimental, and optimal ratios may be ∼2.0. Background calcium to magnesium ratios can affect studies of either mineral alone. For example, US studies (background Ca:Mg >3.0) showed benefits of high dietary or supplemental magnesium for CVD, whereas similar Chinese studies (background Ca:Mg <1.7) showed increased risks of CVD. Oral vitamin D is widely recommended in US age-sex groups with low dietary magnesium. Magnesium is a cofactor for vitamin D biosynthesis, transport, and activation; and vitamin D and magnesium studies both showed associations with several of the same chronic diseases. Research on possible magnesium and vitamin D interactions in these human diseases is currently rare. Increasing calcium to magnesium intake ratios, coupled with calcium and vitamin D supplementation coincident with suboptimal magnesium intakes, may have unknown health implications. Interactions of low magnesium status with calcium and vitamin D, especially during supplementation, require further study.

KEYWORDS:

calcium; calcium/magnesium ratio; essential mineral interactions; magnesium; nutrient interactions; vitamin D

PMID:
26773013
PMCID:
PMC4717874
DOI:
10.3945/an.115.008631
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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