Hello Vit D Council,
Would love some help. I have two basic questions: 1) I have a direct correlation between increasing vitamin D supplementation and increased muscle fatigue/weakness and 2) what is an average amount of magnesium I should be taking with 1-2000 IUs of Vitamin D a day for a large male? Background: i have a history of multiple sclerosis and vit D deficiency. vit D level was 15 ng/ml 4 years ago. Since then I've brought it up significantly, averaging 40-55 ng/ml. However, about three years ago, I began to get significant (but sub-clinical) muscle fatigue/weakness. I eventually discovered that it waxed and waned with the amount of vitamin D I take, meaning the more vit d, the worse it got. I started investigating, and about 2 years ago began adding magnesium (chelated glycinate or malate) and K2 to my daily supplement regimen. I usually run anywhere from 500 mg – 1000 mg of magnesium a day in pill form. I have very recently switched over to ReMag (ionized liquid magnesium, reportedly with better absorption) at about 450 mg a day. I've done several workups on the muscle fatigue and no evidence that it's connected to my MS or any other autoimmune disease (or anything else). My serum mag has been within normal range at 2.0 mg/dl. Latest RBC mag was 4.2, so low normal. Serum calcium has been around 9.1 mg/dl, so normal. Ionized calcium at 1.17 mmol/L, so normal. B12 has been normal, no lyme disease, thyroid results are in normal range. At this point, I would happily just stop taking vitamin D, as it seems to make me weaker, but with MS, I HAVE to keep my vit D levels up, so that's not an option. I don't take calcium supplements. I've tried different types of vit D, and they all do this. I currently take Biotics research emulsified vit D, 2000 IU a day. My working assumption is that I'm using up all of mag from muscles in the vit D metabolism, and that I'm just not absorbing my mag well, and so need to increase my mag intake. But would appreciate input, especially how much mag I should be aiming at if I'm taking 1-2000 IUs of Vit D a day. thanks for the help!
Do you mean as a “large” male, you only need to take 1000-2000iu a day to have a level of 40-55ng/ml or is your level probably lower right now? Could you define “large” in approximate pounds? Do you have any type of “gastro” issues that might cause the “lower” magnesium levels? First let me say that blood tests only measure the 1-2% of any mineral in your blood stream and not total body stores. So you can be in range and still be deficient and actually be “in range” and have symptoms of the low mineral. (So don’t discount any of the minerals, even calcium.) In the VDC Vitamin section it says males may need up to 800mg a day of magnesium. If you truly have an absorption issue, then maybe you will have to take a lot more than most normal people to elicit a response. You could also try magnesium oil that gets rubbed into your skin, thus bypassing the intestines. If you choose to ingest more magnesium then normal, then you have to watch out for too things.Too much can give you loose bowels and you could also become “hypermagnesemia”. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, symptoms of magnesium overdose may include:diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, lethargy,muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure,urine retention, respiratory distress and cardiac arrest. This can happen with any mineral if you take way too much. Just so we are clear there is no magic amount of magnesium that matches any given amount of Vitamin D. Although your magnesium levels are on the “low” end of normal and does look suspicious, here are some other thoughts. You said B12 has been normal. Is your level at or above 500-550pg/ml this equals 461pmol/l? If not be suspicious. You said no Lyme disease but the testing for Lyme is VERY inaccurate, I should know. You said thyroid results are in normal range. If you have a TSH level at or over 2.5, be very suspicious. Your FT4 and FT3 and antibody levels should be tested not just your TSH. (Again I know a lot on this subject. It is my understanding that Vitamin D can also make B6 levels go low even after years of taking Vitamin D. If you are taking a multi that has B Vitamins in it, then this may not be the issue. If not then you may want to try B6 or a B-complex vitamin and see what that does. Unfortunately sometimes you just have to “try” something and see if it works or doesn’t! Let me know if you have any more questions!