5

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Does magnesium compete with calcium?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 01, 2012 at 6:57 AM

I answered the question on osteoporosis that was posted recently and realised I'm not sure if I'm taking the right combo of vitamins, given I have osteoporosis myself. K2 and D3 are fine, I take those, but I also take 600 or 800mg of magnesium citrate (I partly use this to prevent constipation, which I suffer from mildly) but I don't supplement calcium although I eat cheese a couple of times a week, loads of greens (though not sure if calcium is very bioavailable in those) sardines with bones a couple of times a week, loads of bone broth (has that got calcium?)

I was reading an old question on magnesium and calcium RDAs and there was mention of a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium which would mean I need 1,600 mg of calcium - no way do I get this. So should I cut back on magnesium (in which case other constipation remedies welcome!) or add more calcium or even supplement with calcium which I really don't want to do having read so many horror stories. Or am I ok with what I'm on? Anyone know any more about this?

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:42 AM

Thanks, Linda, I wonder if there is anything in the argument that magnesium only starts working as a laxative once you reach a dose that is more than your body needs? For example at 600mg it doesn't work as a laxative, 800mg it usually does for me, I'll look up that book.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 02, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Good luck to you too.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 02, 2012
at 12:35 PM

I seem to recall reading in Cordain's book that Mg lowers requirement for Ca. Don't have book with me but I think he had a sample SAD diet compared to Paleo diet and the Paleo diet appeared to be deficient only in Ca. However he said it was ofset by the Mg intake.

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:56 AM

Hi MiMintzer, I think that's a good idea to be strictly gluten free, I am trying to do the same although I haven't had much for several years. In my case it's a history of teenage eating disorders, hereditary as my mum has it and also my Vitamin D levels were low for years including during two pregnancies and bouts of breastfeeding. I really hope I can get supplements/diet right now as it seems to have got worse since my last scan, not better. Hope you scan turns out well.

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:49 AM

Hi Nemesis, thanks for the links, I'm glad to see a 1:1 ratio is favoured. I'm not actually taking any supplemental calcium. I just ran an average day through Cron-o-meter, including sardines and cheese and it actually came out at 1,300mg of calcium, also 700 of magnesium, as I take supplement 600g of magnesium that actually works out well although I don't get that much calcium every day. I can't quite believe I do get that much calcium from my diet and I eat quite a bit of chard/spinach/beet leaves etc which could affect absorption but it seems more or less ok. Will keep monitoring, thanks!

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3 Answers

3
Feea011b3542851c49a93251d525513b

on July 04, 2012
at 10:21 PM

A great book to read to find out more about the importance of the calcium/magnesium balance is Dr Carolyn Dean's book The Magnesium Miracle. She says that it is very important to take enough magnesium in order for your body to assimilate calcium. Too much calcium can cause all kinds of health issues related to the heart and muscle pain. Calciums function is to tense and excite muscles and nerves and magnesium relaxes muscle and nerves. Calcium builds up in the body and magnesium is constantly depleted. Calcium constipates and magnesium is a laxative, Dr Dean says that 80% of North Americans are Magnesium deficient and have an unhealthy ratio of 10 calcium to 1 magnesium in our 70 trillion cells. The reason for this is our unhealthy diet which often consists of way too much dairy and animal protein. Any form of dairy contains a ratio of 10 calcium to 1 magnesium and any form of animal protein has a 5:1 ratio of Ca to Mg and most processed foods are fortified with extra calcium. It is very difficult to get enough Mg in our foods to offset the amount of calcium we are getting that is why it is important to supplement with magnesium to help prevent a build up of calcium Linda

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 06, 2012
at 06:42 AM

Thanks, Linda, I wonder if there is anything in the argument that magnesium only starts working as a laxative once you reach a dose that is more than your body needs? For example at 600mg it doesn't work as a laxative, 800mg it usually does for me, I'll look up that book.

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 01, 2012
at 11:48 PM

First off, what kind of calcium are you taking? Carbonate is not as easily absorbed as citrate. Carbonate can also contribute to constipation, whereas citrate is best for people prone to hard stools and those with low stomach acidity. Also, you can take citrate on an empty stomach. You really only need about 800mg a day (if that) of calcium. If you tally up your food at a site like CRON-O-Meter, you'll see how much calcium you get from food. And yeah, depending on how many high-oxalate foods you're eating, that could affect your calcium uptake as well. I average about 400mg/day of calcium from food sources, and I take a 400mg Mg & 5,000IU Vit D supp before I go to bed.

hhttp://www.brighamandwomens.org/Patients_Visitors/pcs/nutrition/services/healtheweightforwomen/special_topics/intelihealth1004.aspx

And this doctor recommends ditching the 2:1 ratio theory in favor of 1:1--

http://newhope360.com/blog/time-ditch-21-calcium-magnesium-ratio

Magnesium is essential for calcium absorption by converting vitamin D into its active form. So the two do not compete, but if you have too much of one or the other you're going to wind up with a mineral imbalance which could adversely affect absorption.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 02, 2012
at 12:35 PM

I seem to recall reading in Cordain's book that Mg lowers requirement for Ca. Don't have book with me but I think he had a sample SAD diet compared to Paleo diet and the Paleo diet appeared to be deficient only in Ca. However he said it was ofset by the Mg intake.

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:49 AM

Hi Nemesis, thanks for the links, I'm glad to see a 1:1 ratio is favoured. I'm not actually taking any supplemental calcium. I just ran an average day through Cron-o-meter, including sardines and cheese and it actually came out at 1,300mg of calcium, also 700 of magnesium, as I take supplement 600g of magnesium that actually works out well although I don't get that much calcium every day. I can't quite believe I do get that much calcium from my diet and I eat quite a bit of chard/spinach/beet leaves etc which could affect absorption but it seems more or less ok. Will keep monitoring, thanks!

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on July 01, 2012
at 09:19 PM

I've looked into this and it doesn't seem to be very clear. I also may have osteoporosis (need to follow up with dr) and take both Ca and Mg supplements. Ca cit (400mg) twice daily and Mg cit (400mg) at bedtime. You can find supplements that have both ingredients in them so I guess they are ok to take together. The proof of whether it's ok to take together will be when I see the dr and find out how my bones are doing.

BTW, when I got the diagnosis I had been doing weight training for a couple of years and very surprised. Since then I've completely cut out gluten (about 6 months ago) so I'm wondering if that will make a difference.

F92a0a13e601a6d302e44a4d4e0e3b91

(367)

on July 02, 2012
at 11:56 AM

Hi MiMintzer, I think that's a good idea to be strictly gluten free, I am trying to do the same although I haven't had much for several years. In my case it's a history of teenage eating disorders, hereditary as my mum has it and also my Vitamin D levels were low for years including during two pregnancies and bouts of breastfeeding. I really hope I can get supplements/diet right now as it seems to have got worse since my last scan, not better. Hope you scan turns out well.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 02, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Good luck to you too.

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