Why Magnesium & Zinc?
Unlike other essential nutrients, it can be challenging to obtain enough magnesium & zinc from the western diet.*
These essential minerals are required for over 400 enzyme systems collectively, and can work together synergistically.*
Dietary surveys suggest that the western diet likely provides enough magnesium and zinc to prevent frank symptoms of deficiency.
It is more likely for adults in the U.S. to experience silent (subclinical) deficiencies, where the body borrows nutrients from bones, muscles, etc., to keep essential functions running smoothly. The body is truly amazing at prioritizing functions.
Better sleep, recovery after exercise, and improved immune function are just the tip of the iceberg in benefits you can experience from alleviating a magnesium and zinc deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency is difficult to diagnose because of how closely the body regulates magnesium levels.
The US Department of Agriculture states that the average magnesium intake in both women and men is below the RDA values for maintaining a positive magnesium balance.
The body does not store zinc efficiently, so a steady dietary intake of zinc is necessary to maintain healthy zinc levels.
Although zinc deficiency is difficult to determine through testing and is considered less prevalent: dietary surveys suggest the daily intake of zinc is below the RDA for the majority of adults in the U.S. and Australia.
Some vegetarians can require up to 50% more zinc in their diets than the recommended RDA (recommended daily allowance).
This is because zinc is less bioavailable from plant-based sources.
Phytates in beans and whole grains can also reduce zinc intake by binding to zinc in ways that make zinc more difficult to absorb.
Alcohol, Antacids, Bariatric Surgery, Calcium Supplements, Caffeine, Chronic Stress, IBS, Metabolic Disorders including Type I and Type II Diabetes, Diets high in fat or sugar, Estrogen Therapy, Pregnancy, Proton Pump Inhibitors, Statin Therapy, and even Regular Cardiovascular Exercise can all deplete essential minerals magnesium and zinc.
Beyond the Bullet Points
There are thousands of studies behind these two truly essential minerals. Tap into a few below.
Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. (2001). A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Archives of ophthalmology, 119(10), 1417. Link
Beck, F. W., Prasad, A. S., Kaplan, J., Fitzgerald, J. T., & Brewer, G. J. (1997). Changes in cytokine production and T cell subpopulations in experimentally induced zinc-deficient humans. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 272(6), E1002-E1007. Link
Black, R. E. (2003). Zinc deficiency, infectious disease and mortality in the developing world. The Journal of nutrition, 133(5), 1485S-1489S. Link
Brooks, W. A., Santosham, M., Naheed, A., Goswami, D., Wahed, M. A., Diener-West, M., ... & Black, R. E. (2005). Effect of weekly zinc supplements on incidence of pneumonia and diarrhoea in children younger than 2 years in an urban, low-income population in Bangladesh: randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 366(9490), 999-1004. Link
Champagne, C. M. (2006). Dietary interventions on blood pressure: the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trials. Nutrition reviews, 64(suppl_1), S53-S56. Link
Chaudhary, D. P., Sharma, R., & Bansal, D. D. (2010). Implications of magnesium deficiency in type 2 diabetes: a review. Biological trace element research, 134(2), 119-129. Link
Del Gobbo, L. C., Imamura, F., Wu, J. H., de Oliveira Otto, M. C., Chiuve, S. E., & Mozaffarian, D. (2013). Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 98(1), 160-173. Link
Evans, J. R., & Lawrenson, J. G. (2017). Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for slowing the progression of age‐related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7). Link
Ford, E. S., & Mokdad, A. H. (2003). Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults. The Journal of nutrition, 133(9), 2879-2882. Link
Kang, Y. J., & Zhou, Z. (2005). Zinc prevention and treatment of alcoholic liver disease. Molecular aspects of medicine, 26(4-5), 391-404. Link
Hunt, J. R. (2003). Bioavailability of iron, zinc, and other trace minerals from vegetarian diets. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 78(3), 633S-639S. Link
Joosten, M. M., Gansevoort, R. T., Mukamal, K. J., van der Harst, P., Geleijnse, J. M., Feskens, E. J., ... & PREVEND Study Group. (2013). Urinary and plasma magnesium and risk of ischemic heart disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 97(6), 1299-1306. Link
Lansdown, A. B., Mirastschijski, U., Stubbs, N., Scanlon, E., & Ågren, M. S. (2007). Zinc in wound healing: theoretical, experimental, and clinical aspects. Wound repair and regeneration, 15(1), 2-16. Link
National Institutes of Health. (2013). Zinc: fact sheet for health professionals. Link
National Institutes of Health. (2016). Magnesium fact sheet for health professionals. Version current, 27. Link
Musso, C. G. (2009). Magnesium metabolism in health and disease. International urology and nephrology, 41(2), 357-362. Link
Mutlu, M., Argun, M., Kilic, E. S. E. R., Saraymen, R., & Yazar, S. (2007). Magnesium, zinc and copper status in osteoporotic, osteopenic and normal post-menopausal women. Journal of International Medical Research, 35(5), 692-695. Link
Prasad, A. (2011). Discovery of zinc deficiency in humans and its impact fifty years later. Zinc in human health, 7-28. Link
Rink, L. (2000). Zinc and the immune system. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 59(4), 541-552. Link
Rivlin, R. S. (1994). Magnesium deficiency and alcohol intake: mechanisms, clinical
significance and possible relation to cancer development (a review). Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 13(5), 416-423. Link
Rodríguez-Morán, M., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2003). Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes care, 26(4), 1147-1152. Link
Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated?. Nutrition reviews, 70(3), 153-164. Link
Shankar, A. H., & Prasad, A. S. (1998). Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 68(2), 447S-463S. Link
US Food and Drug Administration. (2011). FDA Drug Safety Communication: Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs (PPIs). Silver Spring, MD, US Food and Drug Administration. Link
Walker, A. F., Marakis, G., Christie, S., & Byng, M. (2003). Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double‐blind study. Magnesium research, 16(3), 183-191. Link
Wester, P. O. (1980). Urinary zinc excretion during treatment with different diuretics. Acta Medica Scandinavica, 208(1‐6), 209-212. Link
Wise, A. (1995). Phytate and zinc bioavailability. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 46(1), 53-63. Link
Wintergerst, E. S., Maggini, S., & Hornig, D. H. (2007). Contribution of selected vitamins and trace elements to immune function. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 51(4), 301-323. Link
Witkowski, M., Hubert, J., & Mazur, A. (2011). Methods of assessment of magnesium status in humans: a systematic review. Magnesium Research, 24(4), 163-180. Link