Magnesium for Calcium Absorption

Health / Nutrition / August 5, 2014

Did you know that vitamins and minerals often work together in your body to support numerous important functions?

To some this may seem obvious, but so often today we’re introduced to stand alone vitamins (calcium, c, d, etc.) that this crucial point often gets lost.

Vitamins and minerals need to interact with one another and in some cases join forces to give your body what it needs. And this is especially true when it comes to building strong, healthy bones.

You know you need calcium for healthy bone growth. What you may not know is that in order for calcium to be properly absorbed into your bones, you need another key ingredient. Magnesium is crucial for calcium absorption. This mineral combines with calcium to create an important bone building “power-duo”.

Put This Bone Building “Secret” to Work: Magnesium for Calcium Absorption

Magnesium is crucial for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, but I’m going to focus on one today: absorption. Without magnesium, calcium may not be fully utilized and absorption problems may occur. Ultimately, magnesium is needed for calcium absorption.

Studies have shown that magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood and without it, would leave deposits in the kidney, causing calcification of arteries and bone joints. It is also one of the most critical minerals for getting calcium to the bones – because it affects calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate it.

M + D + Ca = Strong Bones

How? Magnesium helps convert vitamin D into its active form. The conversion to its active form is essential for greatest calcium absorption. Generally, the more calcium we absorb, the more that gets into our bones. And proper magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. [1]>

What do Doctors Have to Say?

“Magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood. Without the proper balance of magnesium to calcium, calcium ends up depositing in your kidneys and can create kidney stones, in your coronary arteries resulting in clogged arteries, and in joint cartilage, rather than in your bones where you need it most. The more calcium you take without the balancing effect of magnesium, the more symptoms of magnesium deficiency and calcium excess you are liable to experience,” says Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, magnesium expert and Medical Director of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association. [2]

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Joseph Mercola agrees, “If you decide to supplement with magnesium it is important to understand that its complementary partner is calcium. So you should use both. ”

So without the right amount of magnesium, calcium will not be properly absorbed into the bloodstream and won’t make it to your bones.

The next question you should be asking is: how much magnesium do I need each day?

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Magnesium

As you age, the recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for magnesium increase, until you reach age 31. From then on, your RDA is the exact same if you’re 32 or 92. The only difference is for gender. The magnesium RDA for men is slightly higher than the RDA for women.

  • If you’re 31 years old or older and female, your RDA for magnesium is 320 mg.
  • If you’re 31 years old or older and male, your RDA for magnesium is 420 mg.

You basically have two choices when it comes to getting enough magnesium: 1) eat a diet rich in high-magnesium foods and 2) take a daily supplement.

Top Magnesium-Rich Foods

Here are some of the best magnesium-rich food sources that can you provide you with this mighty mineral. [4] These foods contain adequate amounts of magnesium needed for calcium absorption.

The list below shows how much magnesium is in a 100 gram serving of each of the following foods:

  • Nuts and Seeds: Squash and Pumpkin Seeds → 534 mg
  • Dark Chocolate → 327 mg
  • Fish: Mackerel, Pollock and Tuna → 97 mg
  • Beans and Lentils: White Beans, Kidney Beans and Garbanzo Beans → 86 mg
  • Dark Leafy Greens: Spinach, Chard and Kale → 79 mg
  • Dried Fruit: Prunes, Apricots and Dates → 68 mg
  • Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Quinoa and Bulgur → 44 mg
  • Bananas → 27 mg

Note: Our flagship product, AlgaeCal Plus contains 350 mg per daily serving.

Hopefully this list provides you with several magnesium-rich food choices for your diet.

And if your next thought is how you can add these foods to your weekly routine easily, we have you covered.

We’ve put together an ebook for you called: “Recipes for Stronger Bones: 30 Delicious Recipes Packed full of Calcium and Magnesium”. It’s free and I’m sure you’ll find it helpful.

Download your copy here.

If building strong healthy bone is important to you, don’t neglect magnesium! All it takes is a little effort to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential mineral each day.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  4. ^


Monica Lam-Feist, BS

Monica is AlgaeCal’s Content Marketing Manager. Monica completed her studies at The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a B.S. degree in Life Sciences Communication and a B.A. degree in Sociology. She also received certificates in Digital Studies and Leadership. Monica was an elite athlete and played Varsity soccer for the Wisconsin Badgers, Vancouver Whitecaps and for the Canadian Women’s National Team. She brings a holistic and unique perspective and pulls from her experience in athletics and health to write for AlgaeCal.

Add your voice to this discussion...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recipes for Stronger Bones

Recipes for Stronger Bones

Now you can build strong bones one healthy, delicious meal at a time!

Subscribe to receive our FREE newsletter today!

About Us

The Leader in Natural Bone Health

Just because a company proclaims itself a leader doesn’t mean it is so.AlgaeCal has pioneered the multi-nutrient approach to bone health; has proven its effectiveness with clinical studies; read more

Subscribe to receive our FREE newsletter today!