Calcium & Magnesium
Another area that we have all grown to know is that calcium and magnesium need to be balanced in our daily intake. The standard for years has been 2 to 1 calcium to magnesium meaning if you take 1000 mg of calcium you need to take 500 mg of magnesium. Most supplements come already in this proportion. Research today shows that the proportions may need to be 1 to 1.
The biggest issue today is due to the generalized low stomach acid lives of the U.S. population, is that calcium and magnesium should not be taken together. The reason for this is that magnesium neutralizes stomach acid and makes the stomach more alkaline. This is the basic function of Phillips Milk of Magnesia that has been used for 50 years to settle an acid stomach. It is the magnesium that neutralizes the acid. So when you take a calcium magnesium supplement and your symptoms get better, it is because you needed more magnesium to balance your body's chemistry instead of calcium.
How should you take calcium and magnesium? Take your calcium and magnesium separately. Take your calcium with meals and your magnesium 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. I (usually) suggest taking magnesium at bed time. Also, the co factor to absorb magnesium is Vitamin B6. I (usually) have my patients take a 75mg B complex when they take their magnesium. This gives them the B6 they need while covering the rest of the B complex at the same time.
How do you know for sure that you need to take your calcium and magnesium separately?
I use a blood test to:
- Look for indicators of stomach acid level the albumin to globulin ratio of 1.8 or higher. See Calcium Absorption and Utilization Factors article.
- Serum calcium level of 10.0 and phosphorus of 4.0 see Calcium and Phosphorus article.
- Intra cellular magnesium of 5.2-5.6 NOTE: This is intra cellular or red blood cell level. Most blood tests give you the serum magnesium level (ideal 2.1-2.3). The intra cellular level can be off or low by 30% before it will show up in the serum.