Magnesium Is Essential for You to Get the Benefits of Vitamin D

It’s well known that certain nutrients have cofactors for proper utilization and absorption. Vitamin D and Magnesium also falls in the same relationship, there is a synergistic link between vitamin D and magnesium too. Specifically, those who fail to get enough magnesium may be unable to properly utilize vitamin D. In essence, magnesium deficiency causes vitamin D to be stored and inactive. Intestinal absorption and metabolism of vitamin D are influenced by magnesium.

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including:

  • Protein synthesis
  • Muscle and nerve transmission
  • Neuromuscular conduction
  • Signal transduction
  • Blood glucose control
  • Blood pressure regulation

Because serum magnesium does not reflect intracellular magnesium, the latter making up more than 99% of total body magnesium, most cases of magnesium deficiency are undiagnosed. Furthermore, because of chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents and the availability of refined and processed foods, the vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency. Certain individuals will need to be supplemented with magnesium in order to prevent suboptimal magnesium deficiency, especially if trying to obtain an optimal magnesium status to prevent chronic disease.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency:

  • Vitamin D excess or deficiency
  • Calcium supplements
  • Alcohol
  • Ageing
  • Caffeine
  • Chronic stress
  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhoea
  • Emotional and/or psychological stress
  • Excessive or prolonged lactation
  • Excessive menstruation
  • Pregnancy

Magnesium Deficiency: Signs and Symptoms

GENERAL Anxiety, lethargy, weakness, agitation, depression, dysmenorrhea, hyperactivity, headache, irritability, dysacusis, low stress tolerance, loss of appetite, nausea, sleep disorders, impaired athletic performance
MUSCULOSKELETAL Muscle spasm, cramps in the soles of the feet, leg cramps, facial muscles, masticatory muscles, and calves, carpopedal spasm, backache, neck pain, urinary spasms, magnesium deficiency tetany.
NERVES/CNS Nervousness, increased sensitivity of NMDA receptors to excitatory neurotransmitters, migraine, depression, poor memory, seizures, tremor, vertigo.
CARDIOVASCULAR Risk of arrhythmias, supraventricular or ventricular arrhythmias, hypertension, coronary spasm, decreased myocardial pump function, digitalis sensitivity.
ELECTROLYTES Hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, retention of sodium.
METABOLISM Dyslipoproteinemia (increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol), decreased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, increased risk of metabolic syndrome, disturbances of bone and vitamin D metabolism, resistance to PTH, low circulating levels of PTH, resistance to vitamin D, low circulating levels of 25(OH)D, recurrence of calcium oxalate calculi.
PREGNANCY Pregnancy complications (e.g., miscarriage, preterm birth, eclampsia etc.).
MISCELLANEOUS Asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, hypertension, altered glucose homeostasis.

Why Magnesium Should Be Given Along With Vitamin D:

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, potassium and sodium. Magnesium activates hundreds of enzymes that are involved in many important biological reactions, including the enzymes that play a role in vitamin D metabolism.

Firstly, the internal process which converts vitamin D into its biologically active form is magnesium-dependent.

Secondly, magnesium acts as a cofactor for the vitamin D-binding protein.

And thirdly, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D appears to require magnesium to facilitate enzymatic reactions in the liver and kidneys.

Proper intake of magnesium will potentiate the effectiveness of vitamin D in your system, thereby help preserve bones and muscles and strengthen the immune system. In turn, activated vitamin D increases your body’s ability to absorb magnesium, which is involved in various biochemical reactions.

What Is Recommended Dietary Intake of Magnesium?

The estimated amount of a nutrient per day is considered necessary for the maintenance of good health. As per current RDA magnesium intake should be 340 mg per day for men and 310 mg per day for women.

The purpose of this article is to present the biological importance of magnesium in vitamin D metabolism and its therapeutic importance to minimize complications related to vitamin D deficiency. As per our discussion in the article, it is essential to ensure that the recommended amount of magnesium is consumed to obtain the optimal benefits of vitamin D. Consult your doctor before starting any type of supplementation.

Disclaimer: For further information, contact your treating physician/doctor. The information provided here is not a recommendation for the treatment of disease. Please consult your doctor before starting any remedies.


1. Grober, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015 ). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7 (9), 8199-8226. doi:10.3390/nu7095388

2. DiNicolantonio, J., O'Keefe, J., & Wilson, W. (2018). Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart, 5, e000668. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668