The Vitamin D-Magnesium Connection

After consulting with hundreds of patients, I am seeing a scary pattern that I want to bring to your attention.

The concern is the combination of rock bottom intracellular magnesium ‚Äúand‚ÄĚ low vitamin D levels.

It is important to know that if you have a low vitamin D level in spite of taking it, a¬†magnesium deficiency¬†can be one of the reasons you can’t correct it.

Magnesium levels in the first quintile (lower 20% of reference range) or below that, could make you a victim of a fatal heart attack.

The following represents the quintile ranking. You want to see your intracellular magnesium in the 5th quintile.

The Vitamin D-Magnesium Connection

In addition to increasing your intracellular magnesium levels to the 5th quintile, I recommend working on increasing your vitamin D levels to 75 nmol/L or more.

Don’t accept a level of less than 50 nmol/L. It is simply insufficient to support good health. The most current medical literature has shown that 5000IU per day is safe. You can even go as high as 10,000 IU.

It is sad to see that many physicians are still recommending 400IU per day. This is out-dated information. This level is only for preventing a disease called rickets.

Much higher levels of vitamin D are needed for prevention and healing diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, depression, recurrent infections, dental problems, etc.

So the take away is make sure you have your physician test your intracellular magnesium levels in conjunction with vitamin D levels.

By the way, I mean intracellular NOT serum magnesium. This is commonly ordered on a basic blood test.

The following are two good labs that offer the intracellular magnesium: (Genova/Metametrix) (DoctorsData)


Hanley DA, et al, Symposium: Vitamin D insufficiency: A significant risk factor for chronic diseases and potential disease-specific biomarkers of vitamin D sufficiency, J Nutr. 135:332-7, 2005

Vieth R, et al, Efficacy and safety of vitamin D3 intake exceeding the lowest observed adverse effect level, Am J Clin Nutr 73:288-94, 2003

Hollis BW, Circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels indicative of vitamin D sufficiency: implications for establishing a new effective dietary intake recommendation for vitamin D, J Nutr 135:317-22, 2005

Chapuy MC, et al, Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in an adult normal population, Osteoporosis International 7:439-43, 1997

Thomas MK, et al, Hypovitaminosis D in medical in-patients, New Engl J Med, 338:777-83, 1998

Rude RK, et al, Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency, J Am Coll Nutr 28; 2:131-41, 2009

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit¬†¬†for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP)¬† This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.

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