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How do Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc Work Together?

Prepared by Nutritionist Chen Yin


Bone Development

One of the reasons why the calcium supplements for bones health always contain magnesium is due to its role in converting vitamin D into its active form which aids calcium absorption. Magnesium deficiency alters the metabolism of calcium and affects the hormones that regulate calcium while zinc deficiency is linked to a decrease in bone density. In addition, zinc also inhibit the cells that encourage bone breakdown while supporting bone-building cells.

A research which investigate the role of certain minerals deficiencies in bone formation indicated that the osteoporotic postmenopausal participants had significantly lower levels of calcium, magnesium and zinc than the recommended dietary allowance. The research suggested that supplementation with these minerals is recommended for the treatment of low bone density and osteoporosis.

Mood Disorders

Anxiety and depressive disorders are prevailing mood disorders. Depression is often associated with calcium deficiency. A research indicated that less anxiety, depression and emotional changes during menstrual cycle with daily consumption of 500mg of calcium for two months as compared to a control group.

Magnesium was shown to have inverse association with the risk of depression while low levels of zinc was associated with depression. Both magnesium and zinc play an important role in cellular transmission and hormones regulation and study found that they may affect depression via similar biological mechanisms.

Sleep Disorders

The myth of “drinking warm milk before bed may help to induce sleep” has some scientific merit as researchers discovered that dairy can actually help to sleep due to its calcium and magnesium content which exert calming and relaxing effect. While a study found a relationship between orally administered zinc, higher blood zinc levels and improved sleep quality.

 

References

  1. Uwitonze AM, Razzaque MS. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2018 Mar 1;118(3):181-189. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.037. PMID: 29480918.
  2. Pepa GD, Brandi ML. Microelements for bone boost: the last but not the least. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2016 Sep-Dec;13(3):181-185. doi: 10.11138/ccmbm/2016.13.3.181. Epub 2017 Feb 10. PMID: 28228778; PMCID: PMC5318168.
  3. Yamaguchi M. Role of nutritional zinc in the prevention of osteoporosis. Mol Cell Biochem. 2010 May;338(1-2):241-54. doi: 10.1007/s11010-009-0358-0. Epub 2009 Dec 25. PMID: 20035439.
  4. Mahdavi-Roshan M, Ebrahimi M, Ebrahimi A. Copper, magnesium, zinc and calcium status in osteopenic and osteoporotic post-menopausal women. Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2015 Jan-Apr;12(1):18-21. doi: 10.11138/ccmbm/2015.12.1.018. PMID: 26136790; PMCID: PMC4469220.
  5. Shobeiri F, Araste FE, Ebrahimi R, Jenabi E, Nazari M. Effect of calcium on premenstrual syndrome: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2017 Jan;60(1):100-105. doi: 10.5468/ogs.2017.60.1.100. Epub 2017 Jan 15. PMID: 28217679; PMCID: PMC5313351.
  6. Wang J, Um P, Dickerman BA, Liu J. Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium and Depression: A Review of the Evidence, Potential Mechanisms and Implications. Nutrients. 2018 May 9;10(5):584. doi: 10.3390/nu10050584. PMID: 29747386; PMCID: PMC5986464.
  7. Swardfager W, Herrmann N, Mazereeuw G, Goldberger K, Harimoto T, Lanctôt KL. Zinc in depression: a meta-analysis. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Dec 15;74(12):872-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jun 24. PMID: 23806573.
  8. Zeng Y, Yang J, Du J, Pu X, Yang X, Yang S, Yang T. Strategies of Functional Foods Promote Sleep in Human Being. Curr Signal Transduct Ther. 2014 Dec;9(3):148-155. doi: 10.2174/1574362410666150205165504. PMID: 26005400; PMCID: PMC4440346.
  9. Cherasse Y, Urade Y. Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 5;18(11):2334. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112334. PMID: 29113075; PMCID: PMC5713303.

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