Vitamin D and Magnesium
(please, stand by – article is in the making)
1. Vitamin D – The Core of your Healthy Life
1.1 Vitamin D as a Disease Control
Vitamin D is at the core of your health. Every cell in your body is supplied with Vitamin D Receptors (VDR). This vitamin, wich in reality is a prohormone (secosteroid), controls the vital Off- and On-switches of some 3.000 genes. In fact – if you are deficient in Vitamin D, you have a higher risk of developing:
- 20 types of cancer (as of today – the list keeps growing), some very common types, like breast-, colon-, skin-, lungcancers etc.
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s Disease (Senile dementia)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Preeclampsia in pregnant women
- Allergies and Asthma
- ALL known Influenza-illnesses
The list above is quite impressive..! In fact as much a billion and a half of the World’s population is estimated to have a Vitamin D deficiency. Especially people in the far northern and southern hemisphere need supplements throughout large periods of the year.
Vitamin D can come from various sources:
When ultraviolet rays (UV-B) hits the skin, 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin, forms the precursor for vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, the animal form of Vitamin D). This is of course provided that:
You don’t use cholesterol-medications – that is – that you have enough 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin
The shadow of your body is shorter than the lenght of you body (an easy-to-remember rule)
You don’t use sunscreen lotions. Sunscreen lotions block the vital UV-B-rays.
10-15 minutes in the sun will be sufficient for a day’s demand for vitamin D
Older individuals are slower to produce vitamin D in the skin, and needs 6-10 times longer in the sun to produce the same amount as a young individual. Skin color has also got an impact. The darker skin you’ve got the less vitamin D you produce. An ethnic Africans for instance produces about 1/6 of the vitamin D an ethnic European would produce in the same amount of time.
Vitamin D should always be taken in the form of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). This form is extremely hard to overdose (in fact you need several hundreds of thousands to a million IU – International Units – per day over several months to start showing signs of D-vitaminosis. D3 is usually produced by irradiating a fatty substance found in sheeps wool – lanolin – with UV-B light.
The best source of vitamin D is fish meat. Some people claim that cod liver oil is healthy – prepare for a shock – it’s not. Not only does cod liver oil contain the very beneficial Vitamin D3, it also contains huge amounts of the not so healthy Vitamin A. The body needs vitamin A, but usually you get the precise level of Vitamin A by eating beta-carotene (found in vegetables like carrots). To much Vitamin A blocks several of the beneficial effects of Vitamin D (the use some of the same receptors) and Vitamin A can very easily damage your liver in not even high doses (liverplaque is often seen in people taking Vitamin A). Of course, if you suffer from liver-diseases or diabetes a small supplement may be in order.
Back to the cod liver oil. One final argument against drinking cod liver oil, is of course that the way they refine the oil today, they totally ruin the delicate superunsaturated fatty acids, making them poisonous (trans-fatty acids) rather than healthy (cis-fatty acids). So steer clear of the cod liver oil – no matter what your mother told you!
Fish meat on the other hand is a good source of Vitamin D3, but in order to get enough and while live in f.x. Northern-Norway, you would have to eat fish for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper 7 days a week to acquire enough vitamin D3 to prevent the above mentioned diseases… In this modern day and age with pizzas and what have we not – it is not a viable solution, so supplements is in order.
1.3 Doses and Levels
How much do I need? Well, it is individual. A grown human being needs about 100 micrograms (4.000 International Units – IE) per day and children need about 25 micrograms (1.000 IU) per day. There is however great variations in need. Obese individuals may need quite a bit more. The only right way to find out what you need, is to take a blood-test every 2. month and regulate your intake by this. The target range should be a blood level between 70-100 ng/ml 25-OH-vitamin D3. This is the range in where Vitamin D3 has a preventative and curative effect on the above mentioned diseases.
2. Why Magnesium?
Magnesium and Vitamin D3 goes hand in hand! You should not take the one without the other. An estimate suggests that as much as 60% of the population lacks magnesium. In fact if you eat white bread, sugar, and/or white rice – I guarantee that you suffer from magnesium deficiency. Now if you take a trip to the doctor to have your blood-level of magnesium checked, I guarantee you that it is ok. Why? because your body will always see to that there is enough magnesium in the blood. If there is not – you will have a heart attack and most likely die. The body is so focused on keeping the magnesium levels within normal range in the blood – that it will totally empty all your other cells an tissues before finally the magnesium level drops!
2.1 Magnesium and the side effect of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 has one “side-effect” that needs to be accounted for – namely by taking a supplement of magnesium. The “side-effect” is that Vitamin D3 withholds Calcium and Phosphor in your kidneys. That means that if you get sufficient Vitamin D3 and eat a normal varied diet, the Calcium-level in your blood and body will rise. This is a problem if you don’t have enough magnesium in your body! To much Calcium without Magnesium is a really bad combination that can increase death by heart attack up to 4 times above the normal. But if you have enough magnesium in your system – it is no problem. The reason is quite simple:
Magnesium participates in some 325 different enzymes in your body. One of the activities is as a part of the Calcium pump. The Calcium pump is responsible for pumping Calcium out of the cells. The concentration of Calcium should be about 10.000 parts Calcium outside the cell for every 1 part of Calcium within the cell. This is an active, energy consuming process, and one of the little “cogs” in these pumps is Magnesium. Without it the passive influx of Calcium into the cell will be greater than the amount pumped out. The result is a weakening of the cells function until it finally stops functioning and dies.
So it is vital to take magnesium when taking vitamin D3.
2.2 Magnesium doses and levels
Like I mentioned earlier, there is no point in measuring Magnesium levels in your blood. It won’t tell you anything about the magnesium levels. But magnesium is quite easy to take, what excess there may be, will usually be flushed out via the kidneys – provided that you don’t suffer from kidney failure! Taking magnesium when you have kidney failure must be monitored closely by a medical doctor with expertise on orthomolecular medicine in order to avoid hypermagnesemia!
(please, stand by – article is in the making)