One of the many hats magnesium wears throughout the body is that it plays an important role in the movement and metabolism of vitamin D in the body.* It’s doubly important, first for the transportation of serum vitamin D throughout the bloodstream and next, for the activation of vitamin D for use around the body.*
To get a bit more technical: “The mineral is required for binding 25(OH)D to vitamin D binding protein (VDP) for circulation around the blood and delivery to tissues throughout the body,”* mbg director of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N. wrote in a recent article. “Magnesium is also required for the conversion of 25(OH)D to the active 1,25(OH)2D hormone form.”*
Through both of these mechanisms, magnesium ultimately impacts your vitamin D status and function, Ferira says.* Which is exactly why one review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association urges that it is “essential to ensure that the recommended amount of magnesium is consumed to obtain the optimal benefits of vitamin D.”* The researchers even suggest that, as a result of too-low magnesium, vitamin D remains stored (assuming you’re regularly consuming it or getting sun exposure) and inactive for as many as 50% of Americans.
Other research backs up the importance of this relationship, highlighting a correlation between total magnesium intake (including food and supplements) and vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency (which affect a large proportion, 41 and 29% of the population, respectively).
In short, getting the most out of vitamin D requires ample magnesium. Fall short on magnesium and that vitamin D can only do so much good.