3 Nutrient interactions you should know about before supplementing with Vitamin D
Confirmed low levels of vitamin D may require supplementation, yet before supplementing with vitamins you should consider the following nutrient relationships:
1. The Vitamin D – Magnesium Relationship
- Magnesium has been shown to play a role in metabolism and sensitivity of tissues to vitamin D (1). Knowing this, is there a magnesium insufficiency/deficiency that might be impacting vitamin D production in the body?
- The addition of magnesium when correcting vitamin D levels appears to enhance the effects of vitamin D supplementation. (2)
- High dose vitamin D may also have implications on magnesium levels in the body, with the potential that high dose vitamin D may actually cause a further reduction in magnesium levels.
2. Vitamin D – Calcium Relationship
High intake of vitamin D can cause increased levels of calcium in the blood. Whilst this may seem beneficial, excessive levels have been associated with increased calcium deposition in soft tissues that may even include arteries, which in turn may increase cardiovascular risk.
3. Vitamin D – Vitamin K relationship
Vitamin K plays an important role in allowing the body to use calcium.
Long term high dose with vitamin D without vitamin K could be a significant health risk as the raising levels or calcium caused by the increase in D without the presence of vitamin K means higher risk of arterial calcification.
Balance is crucial with vitamin D supplementation. If you are going to supplement with vitamin D, then find a formula that also contains a little vitamin K as well. You may also want to support the body with some additional magnesium. I like clients to use Epsom Salt baths as a way to transdermally increase their blood levels of magnesium.
Vitamin D also has a number of interactions with medications, so always check with your healthcare practitioner prior to starting Vitamin D or any supplementation if taking medications.
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- Zofkova I, Kancheva RL. The relationship between magnesium and calciotropic hormones. Magnes Res. 1995 Mar;8(1):77-84.
- Deng X, Song Y, Manson JE, et al. Magnesium, vitamin D status and mortality: results from US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 to 2006 and NHANES III. BMC Med. 2013 Aug 27;11(1):187