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The Magnesium – Vitamin B6 Connection

by Dr. Jason Barker April 12, 2018

10 Comments

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!

Thorne Magnesium Citramate is one of the best magnesium supplements for athletes. Order a bottle today!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker


10 Responses

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

November 18, 2020

Hi Rosie – I’m not sure there’s a difference in the generally recommended ratio of 10:1 magnesium to pyridoxine if we’re talking about pyridoxal 5’ phosphate.

Rosie OConnor
Rosie OConnor

November 18, 2020

Pyridoxine versus Pyridoxal 5 Phophate. If taking P5P can you take less _- what is the ratio? Thanks Rosemary

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

October 20, 2020

Hi Drew – I’ve not heard of magnesium causing this – is there something else in the mix? I would suggest working with a qualified provider who can look at the balance of other nutrients in your body.

Drew
Drew

October 20, 2020

After taking magnesium for a while (it has happened with both glycinate and threonate), out of “nowhere” it suddenly has paradoxical effects of severe anxiety and sleeplessness. I have to wait at least a week or so before magnesium will become calming again.

Could it be depleting b6 somehow? If not, do you have any ideas about what is causing this?

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

September 01, 2020

Hi Ruth – the ideal ratio is 10:1 – magnesium to B6.

Ruth T
Ruth T

September 01, 2020

What is the ideal ratio of Magnesium to B6?

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

June 18, 2019

Hi Angelglow – it’s really about the vitamin B6 that helps you absorb the magnesium. So if there’s vitamin B6 in any of those formulas you mentioned, it should do the trick.

AngelGlow
AngelGlow

June 18, 2019

Will the results be as effective is B50 or B100 is used with Magnesium?

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

April 02, 2019

Hi Gypsy, ideally you would take them together for best effect!

Gypsy Garner
Gypsy Garner

April 02, 2019

Can you take them separately through out the day? B6 morning and magnesium at night?

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