Researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have determined that magnesium can indeed influence the production of Vitamin D. These findings have significant importance as Vitamin D has been associated with several conditions and diseases, including colorectal cancer.
According to the National Institute of Health, magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Men should take around 400-420 mg of magnesium per day. Meanwhile, the daily recommended dosage for women is 310-320 mg.
Clinical trials that led to this conclusion involved 250 people considered at risk for developing colorectal cancer because of either risk factors or having a precancerous polyp removed. Baseline dietary intake was used to factor in doses of magnesium and placebo.
“Magnesium deficiency shuts down the vitamin D synthesis and metabolism pathway”, concluded Qi Dai, MD, Ph.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and lead study author. He describes ideal levels as being in the middle range of a U-shape, as vitamin D at this level has been linked to the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease in previous observational studies.
“Vitamin D insufficiency is something that has been recognized as a potential health problem on a fairly large scale in the U.S.”, notes Dr. Dai. “A lot of people have received recommendations from their health care providers to take vitamin D supplements to increase their levels based upon their blood tests. In addition to vitamin D, however, magnesium deficiency is an under-recognized issue”. He goes on to say that the majority of Americans do not consume enough magnesium each day to meet the recommended dietary allowance.
Examples of foods that are great sources of magnesium include beans, dark leafy greens, whole grains, dark chocolate, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and avocados.