On the Mg/P ratio

Asked on November 09, 2014
Created November 09, 2014 at 4:12 AM

Optimal nutrient spectrum does not depend solely on intaking nutrients in amounts within specified windows, but also on ratios of biologically correlated nutrients. It is preferrable to eat aminoacids according to a certain aminoacid profile, the O6/O3 should be between 1 and 4, the vitamin A/D ratio around 10, Zn/Cu around 10.


There are two ratios where Ca is included, Ca/P should be around 2.5 and Ca/Mg should not exceed 2. From these, you can derive a new ratio, Mg/P should not exceed 0.8. I embarked in a nutritiondata.com search, since they have a tool where you can specify that you are looking for foods high in Mg and low in P. The results were surprising to me. Basically, those foods are few and far between, and calorically insufficient. Paleo, SAD, or vegan, we all get too much P with respect to our Mg intake. Now this is not a total surprise to many paleo dieters who, in fact, regularly pop Mg pills.


A brief rundown of the foods that do have high Mg/low P include a few (not all) leafy greens, very few, obscure nuts/seeds (sysimbrium, pinyon), and several tropical fruits. Temperate fruits, roots, all have higher P. That's it. Of course, paleo eaters intake huge doses of P through meat, dairy, eggs, and specially fish. Vegans do better on this metric as their P is always accompanied by some (grains) or substantial (beans) Mg. I note that there is only one source of proteins and certain vitamins and minerals (something we usually call "meat") which is P poor, and that is bugs.


Thus I wanted to see what the forum had to say. Possibly, my northern ancestors developed kidneys able to flush out excess P, from eating mammoth for 100,000 years. But it strikes me that those ratios describe a pre-paleo diet, made of leaves, fruits and bugs (and a 30 meters gut to process them). Modern diets such as SAD or paleo have lost a lot of greenery intake, and the gut to extract magnesium efficiently. Mg is one of the few foods that is widely distributed (Whole foods lists only three "very good" sources), with no super-food such as for example, liver for copper or vitamins A and B12, and so we are all deficient.

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