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More About Calcium and Magnesium


Quite the pair: calcium and magnesium

Probably the most well-known of all the mineral nutrients, calcium is the one found most abundantly in the human body. While many of us know calcium as the bone mineral we need to maintain healthy skeletal structure, this is just a tiny fraction of calcium’s beneficial properties.

Calcium is crucial for proper neuromuscular and vascular function. It helps to maintain healthy serum cholesterol levels already within the normal range and is necessary for hormone secretion and intercellular signaling.

Our bodies cannot produce calcium on its own, so we have to obtain it from our diet. In order to maintain the body’s tight control over serum calcium levels, we all have a very sophisticated system of regulation of calcium fluxes in and out the body involving the GI tract, bones, kidneys, parathyroid glands, hormones, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium.

Like calcium, magnesium is abundant in the human body and is just as vital to our health and well-being. This important mineral nutrient is a cofactor in more than 3,000 metabolic reactions.* Our immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems all need magnesium to function normally, and it works with calcium to maintain skeletal health.

Both calcium and magnesium are primarily stored in bones with very little circulating in the blood, and because our body is so good at adjusting blood levels for both calcium and magnesium, it can be sometimes difficult to detect deficiencies until they are quite advanced and bone reserves for both calcium and magnesium are already quite depleted.

How much calcium do you need?

A substantial proportion of people in the United States consume less than recommended amounts of calcium. An analysis of 2007–2010 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 49% of children aged 4–18 years and 39% of all individuals aged 4 and older consume less than the estimated average requirement for calcium from foods and supplements.

Recommended dietary allowances for magnesium per day:

Gender Age Recommended Dietary Allowance per Day
Women 9 – 18 1,300 mg
Women 19 – 50 1,000 mg
Pregnant women 14 – 18 1,300 mg
Pregnant women 19 – 50 1,000 mg
Women 51+ 1,200 mg
Men 9 – 18 1,000 mg
Men 19 – 70 1,000 mg
Men 71+ 1,200 mg

How much magnesium do you need?

Ironically, although magnesium is found abundantly in our body with a healthy diet, recent research has shown that magnesium deficiency is becoming increasingly common, with one study showing that more than 50% of the U.S. population does not meet the U.S. recommended daily intake (RDI) for dietary intake of magnesium.

Recommended dietary allowances for magnesium per day:

Gender Age Recommended Dietary Allowance per Day
Women 19 – 30 310 mg
Pregnant women 19-30 350 mg
Women 31+ 320 mg
Pregnant women 31+ 360 mg
Men 19 – 30 400 mg
Men 31+ 420 mg

NOW® Calcium and Magnesium Products

NOW has an extensive line of calcium and magnesium supplements from stand-alone mineral to blends with other minerals and vitamins. We also offer these minerals in pediatric forms.

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