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The Magnesium – Vitamin B6 Connection

by Dr. Jason Barker April 12, 2018

The Magnesium – Vitamin B6 Connection

If you read our blogs and watch our videos you’ll hear me mention using magnesium and vitamin B6 quite a bit. Used together, this mineral and vitamin combination can relieve a lot of common health issues.

Magnesium is a mineral that, despite having literally hundreds of roles in the human body, can actually be relatively difficult to obtain decent amounts of in the diet. The recommended daily intake is 400 mg, and active people probably require a bit more than this.

The richest food sources of magnesium include dark chocolate, nuts (cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts), seeds, legumes, bananas and leafy greens (kale, spinach, mustard greens, collared greens and turnip greens). There’s also a decent amount of magnesium in coffee as well!

But as you can see, unless you’re eating a lot of these foods, magnesium can be a bit hard to come by in ample amounts, unless you supplement.

We love to use magnesium because of these effects:

  • Muscle relaxation – magnesium acts like a very gentle muscle relaxer and deficiency is known to predispose people to cramps throughout their body.
  • Electrolyte – I consider magnesium to be a ‘forgotten’ electrolyte – it plays an important role among the other main electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) but it’s oftentimes overlooked in this capacity. It’s rare to find an electrolyte formula that contains magnesium as well (except this one!)
  • Mental relaxation (sleep and anxiety relief) – this is really cool! Magnesium binds to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain – GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that slows things down in the nervous system.
  • Magnesium also has an effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for having a calming effect over your entire body.

Vitamin B6 is found commonly in many foods and like magnesium, carries out many roles in the body, most of which involve protein metabolism. The recommended daily intake is just a bit over 1mg daily for adults (1.3-1.7mg).  

So what’s the role of vitamin B6 in relation to magnesium?

It’s actually quite simple in that vitamin B6 has the effect of ‘escorting’ magnesium into the cells where it’s needed. This is really important because as I mentioned previously, many people run at a slight deficiency of magnesium – therefore it’s important to absorb as much of it as you can.

We recommend supplementing with magnesium and vitamin B6 for several conditions due to the calming, muscle relaxing effects we covered – it’s very useful for things like muscle cramping (think menstrual cramps too), insomnia, anxiety, specific heart palpitations (PVCs) and even muscle recovery.

If you’re an athlete, there’s some evidence you need more than just the recommended 400 mg each day. Supplementing with magnesium is easy (it’s also great for constipation, by the way) and if you include a bit of vitamin B6 along with it you’ll get a really good effect from it!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

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