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Vitamin D and Magnesium Part 2
Intro: The Nugent, the science behind health and nutrition. Welcome to this episode of The Nugent Report, a definitive source for objective information on health and nutrition featuring Dr. Steve Nugent, the renowned psychologist, author, public speaker, an expert on science, health, wellness, and nutrition. Be sure to visit our website at DrNugent.com. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at The Nugent Report.
Welcome to The Nugent Report, Episode Two of the series on vitamin D, and magnesium. At the conclusion of the last episode, I left you with two questions. Do you really need to supplement vitamin D? Do you really need to supplement magnesium? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this episode. Remember, Parva and his research team states that “Vitamin D deficiency is becoming an epidemic in the US. The people most likely to be deficient are African Americans, and Hispanic Americans.” I’ll give you more information on why a little bit later. Regardless of race, people who are obese or who suffer from diabetes, are also at high risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Depending on the study that you consult, you’ll find anywhere between 39% and up to 42% of the US population are believed to be deficient in vitamin D. This is huge, and does present a very serious health concern. I’m using US statistics, but keep in mind that people are people. We are all biochemically the same. We’re all human beings. And you can take this data to the country that you live in, for the most part, maybe not the specific percentages, but the concepts, the ideas, the understandings you can use in any country.
In Episode One of this series, I briefly talked about changes in conditions between the 21st century and previous centuries. Almost all jobs now are indoors. Our young people have become addicted to their digital devices, and social media. Versus their grandparents, who as children did most of their activities of their youth, primarily outdoors and in the sunlight. Sun exposure is without question a factor in the increasing number of people in the 21st century, who are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is after all called the sunshine vitamin, because it can be converted from sunlight through an amazing process that requires magnesium. A person who is deficient in magnesium is almost certainly still going to be deficient in vitamin D, even if they are supplementing vitamin D. Perhaps this is why so many physicians have patients on thousands of units per week chronically, and their vitamin D deficiency doesn’t seem to get solved. Are those prescribing doctors aware of the magnesium connection? The answer is most likely no.
Scientists believe that darker skin is an adaptation to protect people from ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This theory is based on the fact that at the equator, you have the highest rate of sun exposure and solar radiation. And the closer any genetic group is to the equator, the darker their skin tone. The reverse is also true. As you go north into the Arctic Circle as an example, the skin tone of genetic groups native to those areas gets lighter. There is less sunlight available as they go north. So, in order to absorb vitamin D from the sun, skin has to be lighter. Rickets, as an example, which is a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency was very common in areas such as the United Kingdom prior to vitamin D supplementation — because they’ve had limited sunlight due to weather conditions as well as their geographic location. But one of the reasons that vitamin D deficiency is more common on average, as individual skin is darker is that the darker skin is blocking absorption like a natural sunscreen.
In this series, I’ll discuss how vitamin D affects your health. And it will become obvious to African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other individuals whose genetics are from areas such as the Indian subcontinent and other areas where skin tones are darker why they have certain health situations that occur to them more frequently than they do to Caucasians. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just biology. What has not been discussed in any popular media that I’m aware of, is that at least 50% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
Some researchers believe that number is as high as 70%. In order for vitamin D to be utilized by the body, it has to work through a rather complex system of enzyme activity. All of these enzymes require magnesium. So, if you’re deficient in magnesium, you will almost certainly be deficient in vitamin D no matter how much vitamin D you are supplementing, or how much vitamin D containing foods you’re eating. Does your doctor know that? The answer is probably no.
The blood test for vitamin D is very straightforward. It’s what’s called a serum analysis. Serum is just a fancy way of saying blood. Doctors are also taught in medical school that a serum analysis of magnesium is adequate to determine if you have normal magnesium levels in your body. This unfortunately, is not correct. Only approximately 1% of the total of magnesium found in anyone’s body will be moving freely in their blood. So, a serum analysis is only going to tell you about the status of a maximum of 1% of your total magnesium.
You see, magnesium is an intracellular mineral. That is to say it needs to be inside of a cell in order to function. To have the most accurate assessment of magnesium in your body, you need a test called red blood cell magnesium or RBC mag. Most insurance companies that I’m aware of don’t cover the test, and most physicians don’t know why they should do the test, because they’re told that serum analysis will give them what they need. Once again, this is not correct.
When I was in practice, I found that RBC mag, and it’s written just that way, the letters RBC for red blood cell and mag, short for magnesium, was indeed the most accurate way to assess functional magnesium levels. Routine serum analysis would almost always show normal, when in fact the patient required more magnesium. I found this routinely with patients who had cardiac issues including arrhythmia, as well as those complaining of muscle cramps, muscle spasms, facial twitching, anxiety, difficulty in sleeping and more issues. I will explain this in the series how magnesium affects those health issues and much more. in future episodes.
The healthy body should contain about 25 grams of magnesium on average. So, folks, that’s 25,000 milligrams between 50 and 60% of your body’s total magnesium will be stored in your bones because magnesium is essential to strong healthy bones. Besides the 1% found in the blood, of course, the remaining level will be in various tissues and cells. So, here’s a logical multiple choice question. Since vitamin D cannot be utilized by the body without magnesium, and at least 50% of people are getting insufficient magnesium, is the main problem for vitamin D deficiency, A, lack of sunlight, B, poor dietary choices, C, magnesium deficiency, or D, all of the above? The science indicates it’s D, all of the above.
According to recent studies, 48% of the population is getting less than adequate levels of magnesium from diet. But there are other factors that contribute to deficiencies magnesium that you may not be aware of and perhaps your doctor is not aware of. People with gastrointestinal diseases, type two diabetes, alcoholics, or those who have, let’s say chronic use of alcohol, but they are not dependent at this point. All of these people are very probably getting less than adequate amounts of magnesium to cope with their particular situations. In fact, these are the indicators that would be most likely associated with deficiencies in magnesium.
Additionally, there are various pharmaceutical drugs that can lower your magnesium including virtually all of the prescription drugs and over the counter products used to reduce heartburn for acid reflux disease. How many physicians who prescribe drugs like Nexium or Prilosec, or other proton pump inhibitors, typically listed as PPIs; how many of them also check magnesium levels and recommend magnesium supplementation? I did a straw poll of a number of people, 36 people, actually. And of course, a straw poll is not a scientific study. Okay. But I found it interesting that of the 36 people I asked who were all taking one of the prescription drugs for acid reflux, 100% of them said, no one had ever told them anything about magnesium. And as far as they knew, their doctors had never tested their magnesium levels. Well, you know what? Even if their doctors had done a serum magnesium, that may not have given them adequate information.
There are conditions where physicians have no choice but to prescribe proton pump inhibitors. I’m not telling you not to take them, that’s between you and your physician. If you need them, you need them. But be aware that magnesium has more than 600 different functions in the human body, much more than bone density, much more than utilization of vitamin D. 600 different functions, folks. Chronic use of PPIs could lead to osteoporosis because those PPIs contribute to magnesium deficiency. And calcium ions can not be transported to the bone without magnesium. That’s only one of many issues when we’re discussing the benefits of magnesium.
In the next episode of The Nugent Report, in this series of episodes, I will continue our discussion not just on the relationship between vitamin D and magnesium. But I’ll cover more aspects of how those nutrients directly relate to your daily health requirements, blood testing for vitamin D as well as sources and benefits. Thanks for listening to this episode of The Nugent Report. Until next time, stay safe. Be sensible. Stay objective.
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第5期 维生素D与镁 第2部分 Dr. Nugent报告
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