Nutritional Magnesium Association critiques recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report

Magnesium essential in metabolizing vitamin D, calcium, association says

LOS ANGELES — The Nutritional Magnesium Association on Wednesday noted magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps absorb necessary nutritional supplements like vitamin D or calcium in response to a recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report that suggested supplementing with these ingredients may not help prevent bone fractures in postmenopausal women, while also increasing the risk of kidney stones. 

"Adequate levels of magnesium in the body are essential for the absorption and metabolism of vitamin D and calcium," stated Carolyn Dean, magnesium expert and medical advisory board member for NMA. "Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form so that it can help calcium absorption and help prevent clogged arteries by drawing calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones where it is needed to build healthy bone structure," she said. "Nutrients act in a synergetic way in the body. Absorption and metabolism of a particular nutrient will be affected, to a greater or lesser degree, by the other nutrients available to the body. This is also true with vitamin D."

According to the nonprofit Vitamin D Council, "In order to receive the most health benefit from increased levels of vitamin D, the proper cofactors must be present in the body … magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron."

"It is vitally important that studies on the efficacy of vitamin D and calcium in relation to bone health are not done in isolation in the absence of magnesium," Dean said. "The fact that magnesium works synergistically with vitamin D and calcium by stimulating the specific hormone calcitonin—which helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, preventing osteoporosis, some forms of arthritis and kidney stones — cannot be overlooked."


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