Get Your Calcium, Magnesium And Vitamin D For Bone Health
Micronutrients are the small (‘micro’) vitamins, minerals, and trace elements which we must obtain in our diets to maintain health and life itself. They are used as raw material in the body to assist the many biological reactions which comprise our metabolism.
Obviously, a deficiency in one or more of any of these nutrients can lead to ill health and death, not to mention put recovery and muscle growth on hold. So it’s important that we eat a wide variety of foods and (unless you have an incredibly diverse diet with numerous servings of fruits, vegetables, etc.) take a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement.
It has always been true that magnesium is one of the nutrients most likely to be under-consumed in the diet and some reports show that over 50% of people in affluent societies don’t get enough—and remember, many recommendations represent a ‘minimum’ requirement to avoid deficiency, not the ‘optimal’ amount to support good health.
This is bad enough, but now two very important studies have emphasised just how important magnesium is.
The first study has noted that despite adequate calcium and vitamin D intake (which are considered the two most crucial micronutrients for bone health), bone density in children will be compromised unless adequate magnesium is consumed. So as I’ve reported in the past, as long as we hit a minimum calcium intake 1000+mg per day, then it is other nutrients like magnesium and vitamin D (also deficient in most diets—optimum dosage varies) which may be more important for bone health.
But that’s not all. An even more recent study shows that higher circulating magnesium levels may decrease heart disease risk by 30% or even more! Also, increasing intake was associated with a 22% decrease in ischemic heart disease (lack of blood supply to the heart). And this was a serious review of all of the best research on this topic that looked at results from over 300,000 people!
So the take-home message here is to eat a variety of fruits and/or vegetables with each meal and/or ensure that your supplement contains a healthy dose of magnesium; I would suggest 350mg for those who don’t eat enough fruit and veg (you know who you are!) and 200mg for those who eat a reasonable amount. Those who eat 8 or more servings of a variety of fruits and veg can probably get away without a supplement (for magnesium at least).
If I know your genetic results, then I will advise you even more specifically on doses!