Low levels of magnesium in the blood (hypomagnesemia) predicts cardiovascular events, accelerated loss of kidney function in renal transplant recipients and mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients, suggests a new study published September 2013. In fact moderately elevated levels of magnesium in the blood (hypermagnesaemia) seems to have beneficial effects on vascular calcification, bone mass, osteoporosis and mortality rates in CKD patients, states another 2013 study. New research has shown that magnesium can boost vitamin D's protection from fatal heart disease and colon cancer for individuals in the general population by nearly 500 percent, and from overall death by over 100 percent. What's more, CKD specific studies show that those with the disease who have low magnesium levels can also get significant health benefits from increasing their intake.
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Patients with CKD have an exceptionally high rate of severe vitamin D deficiency that is further exacerbated by the reduced ability to convert inactive vitamin D into its active form. As evidence has improved, it has become apparent that vitamin D is critical for people with CKD to balance their immune and cardiovascular systems. During a general population study, those with high vitamin D levels (>40 mg/ml) were 13 percent less likely to die from any cause when compared to those with lower vitamin D levels. Similarly, individuals were 30 percent less likely to die if they had higher levels of magnesium (>264 mg/day) than if their intake was low (264 mg/day). In other words, a high magnesium intake more than doubled the protective effect of vitamin D against death from all causes of mortality. These figures can be similarly attributed to the CKD population even though the daily dosages may be different.
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Benefits are even more pronounced when looking at protection against heart disease. Those with high vitamin D but low magnesium had just 9 percent less risk of death from heart disease. However, those with high vitamin D and high magnesium intake had a 43 percent risk reduction of death from a cardiovascular event. That is a boost of 478 percent in the effectiveness of vitamin D for preventing lethal heart complications. Even at low levels of vitamin D, magnesium supplementation more than doubled vitamin D's protective effect by 241 percent. Although the figures may be slightly different for CKD specific individuals, a 2009 study stated, "Vitamin D has emerged as a vital compound in CKD with newly ascribed autocrine (cell signaling) functions vastly different from its classical function in mineral homeostasis. To ignore the significance of this vitamin and its potential impact on morbidity and mortality in the CKD patient is no longer appropriate."
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CKD patients should also note that higher magnesium intake boosted the protective effect of vitamin D from colon cancer mortality by up to 480 percent. Although it is suggested that individuals should have 264 to 420 mg of magnesium daily to maximize the health benefits of vitamin D in the general population, CKD patients may have unique considerations and may not be able to follow the same regimen. Yet due to the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in the CKD Community, KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss the matter with your Nephrologist and determine appropriate strategies such as magnesium supplementation to correct any applicable deficiency.
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Biesen, Van W. "Hypomagnesemia and the Risk of Death and GFR Decline in Chronic Kidney Disease." PubMed.gov. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Search Database
Evers, Ethan. "Magnesium Potently Boosts Vitamin D's Protection from Heart Disease, Cancer and Death." NaturalNews.
Rodríguez, M De Francisco M. "Magnesium - Its Role in CKD." PubMed.gov. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Williams, Sandra, MD, Karla Malatesta, BS, and Keith Norris, MD. "Vitamin D and Chronic Kidney Disease." PubMed.gov. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health