Healthcare providers know the importance of assessing vitamin D status on their patients. When vitamin D levels are low, supplementation is recommended or the dosage is often increased. More and more research demonstrates the intricate interrelationships with other nutrients. It is important to maintain optimal levels of all the fat soluble vitamins but one cannot forget magnesium either.

According to a new review published last month, researchers investigated the association of vitamin D and magnesium with insulin sensitivity and their influence on glycemic control. Researchers have found that patients with good glycemic control have high magnesium levels. In addition, magnesium is closely related to vitamin D and is required for the transport and activation of vitamin D.

Several studies have reported that vitamin D deficiency is common among patients with type II diabetes, suggesting a possible correlation between low vitamin D levels and pancreatic insulin secretion and action.

Vitamin D is also known to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects, which can improve insulin resistance by altering low-grade chronic inflammation involved in insulin resistance. In addition, low vitamin D levels increase parathyroid hormone concentration, resulting in secondary hyperparathyroidism, which can lead to glucose intolerance.

Most studies agree that both vitamin D and magnesium are important regulators of glucose

homeostasis and play an essential role in the management of type II diabetes. Vitamin D and magnesium levels were found to be significantly lower in diabetic patients. This was demonstrated by a study on diabetes patients that showed those with poor glycemic control had significantly lower vitamin D and serum magnesium levels than those with good glycemic control.

Vitamin D and magnesium insufficiency are a common issue among many patients. Over 75% of individuals have calcium to magnesium ratios greater than 2.5 and up to 80% of people do not consume enough magnesium in a day to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and most of these individuals are also vitamin D deficient.

It is essential to recommend patients consume foods including dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, dark chocolate, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts and avocados as deficiencies in magnesium and vitamin K can contribute to vascular calcification and supplement with vitamin D accordingly.

The role of vitamin D and magnesium in enhancing insulin sensitivity has been confirmed by previous studies. Vitamin D supplementation increases vitamin D levels and supplementation of magnesium alone in patients with diabetes shows insignificant effects on glycemic control, however, studies have shown the combination of vitamin D and magnesium supplementation improves glycemic control in patients with diabetes.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Wan Nor Fazlia Hafizan Wan Nik, Hani Ajrina Zulkeflee, at el. Association of vitamin D and magnesium with insulin sensitivity and their influence on glycemic control. World J Diabetes. 2023 Jan 15;14(1):26-34.

Qi Dai, Xiangzhu Zhu, JoAnn E Manson, Yiqing Song, Xingnan Li, Adrian A Franke, Rebecca B Costello, Andrea Rosanoff, Hui Nian, Lei Fan, Harvey Murff, Reid M Ness, Douglas L Seidner, Chang Yu, Martha J Shrubsole. Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018; 108 (6): 1249 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy274

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