HEALTHY BITE | Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D: how do we get the balance right?

Magnesium is a vital nutrient for the trillions of chemical reactions going on every moment of every day in every cell in our body. Calcium and Vitamin D are similarly important. But are we getting enough?

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:06] Hi Dr Ron Ehrlich here and welcome to Healthy Bite, I had the pleasure recently of talking to Dr. Carolyn Deans and we talked about magnesium. And while we have said before that healthy soils are important for healthy food and we know that many soils in fact. Most soils in Australia, certainly and probably in the globe globally are deficient in magnesium, selenium and zinc or magnesium is a very important component in the literally tens of thousands of billions, actually trillions of chemical reactions that are going on each and every moment of every day in every cell in our body. And we hear a lot about we touched on about calcium supplementation. And always you hear about milk being important for healthy bones and calcium supplementation to avoid osteoporosis. But of course, it’s not as simple as that. And there was this article that Carolyn Dean referred to a researcher in New Zealand, Mark Boland. And I thought I’d look up that article and this is it. It was written in 2010. And the name of the article was the effect of calcium supplements on the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular risks. This is a meta-analysis. So what that means is they take a whole lot of studies. And to the objective of this study was to investigate whether calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular events. So you’ve been taking calcium supplements for healthy bones. You may have forgotten that there’s more going on in your body than your bones and your hearts are important issues. So they were exploring that cause calcification of the carotid arteries are not a good thing. And that is what that episode with Dr. Ross Walker reinforced about coronary calcium CT score. So here was an article written in 2010 which was looking at, hey, maybe these calcium supplements are a problem for our heart. And the conclusion was this is interesting. Calcium supplements without coadministered vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction. As calcium supplements are widely used, these modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease might translate into a larger burden of disease in the population. And you might argue maybe the drinking of milk for healthy bones. Remember, that may be actually a problem for our heart. But this is worth bearing in mind. And I thought what was so interesting about this in 2010 was the recognition that vitamin D deficiency was a major problem. And unless you had vitamin D, then you wouldn’t be able to absorb the calcium anyway. So this goes back to a whole story about the importance of fats, fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K in absorbing the water-soluble minerals vitamins. So this was 2010. But wait, there was more than Carolyn Dean pointed out that not only was magnesium important in calcium metabolism and specifically the precipitation of calcium, now, what did she mean by that? Calcium floats around in our system as a natural. It naturally floats around in our body and it’s in balance between free calcium and bound calcium in our blood. But when it precipitates out, that’s where the problems arise, because what happens is you get calcium precipitation and that means calcium gets deposited where it shouldn’t be, and that is into your arteries, into your joints, on your teeth. You know, if you’re ever wondering how come I have a lot of calcium buildup on my teeth and the answer may well be in this next thing that Carolyn Deane alerted me to and reminded me of, and that was that magnesium is important not only in calcium metabolism, but also in vitamin D metabolism. So there’s an additional thing. So I looked up in 2019, magnesium supplementation for vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D deficiency. If you go back and listen to my podcast and you watch it on YouTube of the elephant in the room, I touch on the fact that vitamin D deficiency is at pandemic proportions. It is really a major global problem and vitamin D is essential for every aspect of our health, but. Hey, guess what, you need magnesium in order to make vitamin D, so a lot of people who say I’m out in the sun all the time, I don’t understand why I’m deficient in vitamin D. Well, it may be that you’re deficient in magnesium, which you need to produce the vitamin D, whether it be from the sunshine or whether it be from supplementation. So in this study, vitamin D and magnesium, magnesium are some of the most. This was 2019. So almost 10 years later, vitamin D magnesium is some of the most studied topics in medicine with enormous implications for human health and disease. Majority of adults are deficient in both vitamin D and magnesium, but continued but continue to go unrecognized by many health care professionals. Boy, is that ever true. And here was the conclusion of the study. Because of the recent increase in global awareness, vitamin D supplementation has become a common practice. You may be taking vitamin D supplements yourself. I know I am. But magnesium deficiency still remains under unaddressed screening for chronic vitamin of magnesium deficiency is difficult because of a normal serum level may still be associated with moderate to severe deficiencies. We talked about this in the podcast where testing magnesium levels in blood is a waste of time because blood will always try and keep magnesium in balance. But you could still be terribly deficient in this. So blood tests for magnesium aren’t much good to date. There is no simple or accurate laboratory test to determine total body magnesium status in humans. And that is true Carol. Carolyn Dean, confirm that magnesium is essential in the in the metabolism vitamin D and taking large doses of vitamin D can induce severe depletion of magnesium. So if you’re taking really high quantities of vitamin D, that may be a problem as well because you may be depleting the magnesium that is already depleted. So go figure. You see why taking supplements is not straightforward. You need to do this in a coordinated way. Adequate magnesium supplementation should be considered as an important aspect of vitamin D therapy. Well, I just thought I’d touch on those important issues and re re-emphasize that actually magnesium supplementation or deficiency is a big problem. It’s very difficult to determine how soils are deficient of it. So getting that magnesium supplementation, which unlike calcium, when you take calcium supplement, it will precipitate if you take too much and it will precipitate in your coronary arteries, in your joints and on your teeth. The beauty of magnesium supplementation is that you will just excrete what you don’t need. It does not precipitate into the body. So I thought I’d share that with you. I’d recommend you go back and have a listen to the podcast I did with Dr Caroline Dean on Magnesium Modern Medicine. And we also touched on yeast problems. And I hope this finds you well until next time. This is Dr Ron Ehrlich.


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