Spring has sprung, and longer days are here to stay. But as I remind you every year, all that extra sunshine doesn’t mean you can ditch your vitamin D supplement.
Unless you’re spending 20 minutes a day in a swimsuit under the South Florida sun, you still need that daily dose of D to keep your levels where they should be. And for best results, you should add a dose of magnesium to go with it.
That was the takeaway of a recent review in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.1 This study found that vitamin D stays inactive in your body without sufficient levels of magnesium to support its metabolism.
Which means that, for half the American population, a whole lot of lifesaving vitamin D is going straight into storage without ever being used. (And that’s a generous estimate—some sources cite that number as being closer to 80 percent.)
The fact of the matter is, like vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency is now epidemic. (In fact, given this new information, these twin epidemics appear to go hand-in-hand.) The Standard American Diet—packed with processed foods, refined grains, unhealthy fats, and sugar—is woefully lacking in this essential nutrient.
But even people who do fill up on magnesium-rich foods—like almonds, spinach, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds—are likely to come up short. Because the soil in our industrialized farms is simply too depleted to grow crops with the same mineral content it used to.
That should be reason enough to add it to your daily regimen. But if you still need more convincing, I’m happy to throw in a few more reasons (because there’s really no shortage of them)…
Magnesium plays a key role in a number of vital systems. It protects your bones, nerves, immune system, and your heart health, too. Research even shows it can cut your risk of death in half.
As always, I recommend a minimum of 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day, regardless of the season. If you don’t get outside much for whatever reason, I suggest upping that daily dosage to 10,000 IU. (I know that sounds high, but IU’s are miniscule measurements…and you can never really get too much of this wonderful nutrient.)
Start chasing you daily vitamin D with magnesium—I typically recommend highly absorbable magnesium orotate (32 mg a day) or taurate (125 mg)—and there’s a good chance that’s all you’ll ever need.
- Uwitonze AM, et al. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189.