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Calcium Magnesium Vitamin d

Calcium magnesium vitamin D represent, for many, the trifecta of nutrients in bone health. While little debate exists on the benefits of calcium and the “sunshine vitamin” for bone, magnesium research is less definitive.  It’s also important to determine if the calcium magnesium vitamin D combination has a synergistic effect.

According to UC Berkeley Wellness Guide to Dietary Supplements(http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/ds/dsMagnesium.php), a primary connection between magnesium and bone health is that “women with [bone loss]tend to have low magnesium levels.”  Other bone metabolism researchers have noted that there are only limited studies suggesting a positive correlation between magnesium and bone density.

Who may need extra “mag” among the calcium magnesium vitamin D trio?  According to the NIH’s Magnesium fact sheet:

•    Some medicines may result in magnesium deficiency, including certain diuretics, antibiotics, and medications used to treat cancer (anti-neoplastic medication).  Examples of these medications are:

o    Diuretics: Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin, and hydrochlorothiazide
o    Antibiotics: Gentamicin, and Amphotericin
o    Anti-neoplastic medication:

•    Individuals with poorly-controlled diabetes may benefit from magnesium supplements Calcium-Magnesium-Vitamin_d | Articlebecause of increased magnesium loss in urine associated with hyperglycemia.
•    Magnesium supplementation may be indicated for persons with alcoholism. Low blood levels of magnesium occur in 30% to 60% of alcoholics, and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Anyone who substitutes alcohol for food will usually have significantly lower magnesium intakes.
•    Individuals with chronic malabsorptive problems such as Crohn's disease, gluten sensitive enteropathy, regional enteritis, and intestinal surgery may lose magnesium through diarrhea and fat malabsorption. Individuals with these conditions may need supplemental magnesium.
•    Individuals with chronically low blood levels of potassium and calcium may have an underlying problem with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supplements may help correct the potassium and calcium deficiencies.
•    Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency. The 1999-2000 and 1998-94 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys suggest that older adults have lower dietary intakes of magnesium than younger adults. In addition, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. Seniors are also more likely to be taking drugs that interact with magnesium. This combination of factors places older adults at risk for magnesium deficiency. It is very important for older adults to get recommended amounts of dietary magnesium. 

We found only one clinical study involving the three nutrients together.  The study entitled “Calcium Magnesium Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Bone Mineralization in Preadolescent Girls” was conducted by USANA Health Sciences in 2001.  The study found improvement in cortical bone density among young girls who took the three in a supplement. However, overall bone mineral density apparently was no different between that group and the placebo girl group.

Calcium-Magnesium-Vitamin_d | Review ArticleThere is no reason to believe that a calcium magnesium vitamin D supplement would have any downside for a consumer looking to support bone density. One example is AdvaCAL Ultra 1000  However, added “mag” for many people is probably unnecessary, because it is so widely found in food. Of the three nutrients, mag appears to have the least compelling research. To summarize, in importance to bone health, many experts would swap the priority order of the last two ingredients among the calcium magnesium vitamin d trio.