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Can Vitamin B6 Help With Magnesium Absorption?

Can Vitamin B6 Help With Magnesium Absorption?


It's an all too familiar situation: despite taking substantial daily doses of magnesium sulfate supplements, ranging in hundreds or even thousands of milligrams, your distressing symptoms persist. Be it anxiety, depression, leg cramps, insomnia, or hormonal imbalances - your magnesium levels appear to be stuck in a rut.

You're left questioning why the magnesium sulfate intake doesn't reflect significant improvement.

There might be a vital piece of the puzzle you're missing: Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is an essential cofactor that significantly improves magnesium sulfate absorption and reduces the risk of side effects. Numerous clinical studies have shown that Vitamin B6 optimizes magnesium sulfate utilization when paired together, enhancing its bioavailability.

However, research on the use of magnesium sulfate supplements to prevent or reduce symptoms of migraine headaches is limited.

While the reasons for chronically low magnesium levels can be multifaceted and complex, incorporating Vitamin B6 into your diet has demonstrated considerable potential in effectively increasing these levels.

By facilitating magnesium absorption, Vitamin B6 allows your body to harness the full benefit of the magnesium you consume, potentially easing your symptoms.

If you are struggling with maintaining healthy magnesium levels despite aggressive supplementation, consider the addition of Vitamin B6 into your regimen.

The symbiotic relationship between these two crucial nutrients could be what your body needs to utilize magnesium better and restore your well-being.

Magnesium: An Essential Mineral

Magnesium, often overlooked, is an essential mineral and is naturally present in many foods. It's central to numerous physiological functions and biological processes within the body, operating like the unseen, unsung hero of our well-being.

This dynamic nutrient is a biochemical powerhouse, participating in over 3500 enzymatic reactions in the human body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also available as a dietary supplement, which can further support its role in maintaining optimal health.

It is important to ensure that you are getting enough magnesium in your diet to support healthy muscles, nerves, bones, and blood sugar levels. This test measures the amount of magnesium in your blood, providing valuable information about your magnesium levels and potential deficiencies.

Beyond these fundamental roles, magnesium maintains a robust immune system, supports bone health, and forms a part of our DNA and RNA genetic framework. By also playing a key role in the body's energy production and aiding in the transportation of calcium and potassium across cell membranes, magnesium influences our heart rhythm and overall neurological function.

Additionally, emerging research suggests its potential benefits in mitigating chronic conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, highlighting the vital link between sufficient magnesium levels and long-term health.

This essential mineral actively influences almost every aspect of our health and well-being, including the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Ensuring adequate magnesium intake is critical for successfully functioning and maintaining our bodily systems.

Prospective cohort studies have shown an association of diets low in magnesium with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, further emphasizing the importance of maintaining optimal magnesium levels for overall health.

Importance of Magnesium in the body

Magnesium, a vital mineral, impressively holds the title of being a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems, significantly contributing to a host of crucial biochemical reactions in the body.

Enzyme Activation

Magnesium invigorates energy production and genetic function, serving as a crucial element in the activities of enzymes involved in energy metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protein creation.

Energy Production

Integral to ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesis––the living cell's central energy source––magnesium facilitates the conversion of consumed food into usable power, fueling our existence.

Muscle Function

Critical for muscle contraction and relaxation, magnesium works synergistically with calcium to regulate muscle activities. Sufficient magnesium levels can prevent muscle cramps and spasms, promoting smooth, efficient muscle function.

Nervous System Support

Playing an underappreciated role in nerve impulse transmission and neuromuscular conduction, magnesium aids in controlling neurotransmitters – the chemical couriers that convey messages between nerve cells.

Bone Health

Magnesium strengthens bone structure by collaborating with calcium and vitamin D, encouraging healthy bone formation, density, and preservation.

Heart Health

Magnesium exerts powerful influences on heart health, assisting in sustaining a normal heart rhythm, regulating blood pressure, and potentially warding off heart-related complications.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Adequate magnesium may enhance insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by performing regulatory functions in the body's insulin activity and glucose metabolism.

DNA and RNA Synthesis

Profoundly involved in nucleic acid synthesis (DNA and RNA), magnesium hosts essential roles in building our genetic material and numerous cellular operations.

Immune System Support

By participating actively in diverse immune responses, magnesium bolsters our immune system and promotes effective functioning.

Electrolyte Balance

Lastly, magnesium works diligently to retain our body's electrolyte equilibrium, harmonizing with minerals like potassium and sodium to reinforce crucial biochemical interactions.

Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency

Hypomagnesemia, commonly referred to as a deficiency in magnesium, can often present itself through various symptoms, including chronic diarrhea.

Understanding that these symptoms might be mild and potentially coincide with other health-related issues is crucial. If you believe you're experiencing a deficiency in magnesium at high doses, resulting in too much magnesium, we highly recommend seeking advice from a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Some common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

Muscle Cramps and Spasms

Magnesium plays a pivotal role in enabling healthy muscle functions. A shortage of it can instigate muscle contractions, cramps, and twitches, causing significant discomfort.

Fatigue and Physical Exhaustion

The body relies on magnesium to produce ATP, the primary energy currency supporting bodily functions. Therefore, the lack of sufficient magnesium can result in feeling tired and weak.

Digestive Disturbances - Nausea and Vomiting

Magnesium deficiency can also trigger gastrointestinal issues marked by nausea and vomiting, creating additional physical stress on the body.

Loss of Appetite

Declining interest in eating or loss of appetite may also stem from magnesium deficiency, causing unintentional weight loss and general weakness.

Arrhythmia and Other Heart Complications

Maintaining a regular heart rhythm is another crucial function of magnesium. Insufficient levels can bring about heart palpitations, arrhythmias, and related cardiovascular problems, potentially having a severe impact on overall health.

Numbness or a Tingling Sensation

A key role of magnesium is ensuring smooth nerve function. Low magnesium levels can result in unusual bodily sensations, such as tingling or numbness.

Psychological Impact - Personality Changes

A significant psychological impact of magnesium deficiency can cause mood changes, leading to increased feelings of anxiety or depression.

Neurological Disorder - Seizures

Though considered rare, a severe magnesium deficiency can incite seizures, which calls for immediate medical attention.

Disrupted Electrolyte Levels

As an essential electrolyte, magnesium contributes to the balance of other electrolytes in the body. A deficiency can prompt issues like lower levels of potassium or calcium.

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

In the body's metabolic processes, magnesium works synergistically with calcium. Consequently, a lack of magnesium might induce symptoms related to calcium deficiency, such as muscle spasms and peculiar sensations like numbness and tingling.

Magnesium Deficiency Causes

Magnesium is crucial for various bodily functions, from nerve transmission to energy production. Maintaining adequate levels of this essential nutrient is imperative for our overall health and well-being.

However, there can be instances when the necessary magnesium levels are unmet, resulting in a state known as magnesium deficiency or Hypomagnesemia.

Inadequate Consumption of Magnesium-Rich Foods

One of the leading causes of magnesium deficiency is a diet deficient in foods rich in this essential mineral. Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are crucial sources of magnesium.

However, the prevalence of processed and refined foods in the modern diet often contributes to decreased consumption of good sources of magnesium.

It is important to ensure an adequate intake of magnesium, meeting the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), to prevent deficiency.

Digestive Disorders Interfering with Nutrient Absorption

Certain health conditions, particularly those affecting nutrient absorption in the digestive tract, like celiac disease and Crohn's disease, can result in magnesium deficiency. This is due to the reduced capacity of the body to absorb and utilize this mineral effectively.

Risks Associated with Alcohol Consumption

Overindulgence in alcohol can inhibit magnesium absorption and increase excretion through the kidneys, which often leads to a magnesium deficit.

Impact of Certain Medications

Some drugs, including diuretics, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and specific antibiotics, can interfere with magnesium absorption, escalate excretion, or lead to deficiency.

Age-related Factors

Aging could increase the likelihood of magnesium deficiency, mainly attributed to decreased absorption capacity, regular medication usage, and alterations in dietary habits.

Existing Medical Conditions

Medical issues like diabetes and kidney disease could elevate the risk of magnesium deficiency. In particular, diabetes may instigate an increase in magnesium loss through urine.

Low Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D is a crucial element that facilitates magnesium absorption in the intestines. Consequently, a deficiency in Vitamin D might indirectly result in low magnesium levels.

Excess Calcium Intake

A disproportionate intake of calcium and magnesium can impact their mutual absorption. An overabundance of calcium intake, primarily through supplements, without a corresponding increase in magnesium might contribute to a magnesium deficiency.

Stress and Its Repercussions

Chronic stress can augment the body's requirement for magnesium. Factors induced by stress, such as heightened urinary excretion of magnesium, can result in a deficiency.

Malabsorption Syndromes

Specific malabsorption syndromes, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and short bowel syndrome that hamper the body's ability to absorb nutrients efficiently, could also contribute to magnesium deficiency.

Exposure to Heavy Metals

Some heavy metals, such as mercury, aluminum, lead, cadmium, and halogens like fluoride, can replace magnesium in the tissue, reducing its availability to the body.

Consumption of Soft Drinks

Soft drinks contain phosphorus compounds that can bind to magnesium molecules, effectively reducing available magnesium levels.

Effects of Ionizing Radiation

Exposure to ionizing radiation can displace magnesium from cells while encouraging calcium influx, potentially leading to over-calcification and subsequent magnesium deficiency.

The Role of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble micronutrient that contributes immensely to the various physiological processes within our bodies. The significance of this versatile vitamin is derived from its involvement in numerous essential functions, where it plays a vital part as a coenzyme in numerous enzymatic reactions.

Vitamin B6's crucial role supports magnesium's diverse tasks within the body, such as enhancing the absorption of magnesium in the digestive tract and promoting its availability within cells.

By supporting magnesium absorption, vitamin B6 helps maintain optimal magnesium levels and blood levels.

Furthermore, the combined action of these two nutrients, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid, is invaluable in supporting various essential processes, such as synthesizing neurotransmitters, producing energy, regulating critical electrolytes, and even aiding in the absorption of vitamin C.

As a result, incorporating a variety of foods rich in Vitamin B6 into our diets, such as fish, poultry, starchy vegetables, and fortified cereals, can offer a significant advantage in reinforcing magnesium's availability and overall benefits.

Vitamin B6 supplements can be considered to further support magnesium levels, particularly in situations where dietary intake alone may be insufficient. Vitamin B6 is essential in ensuring that magnesium works at its full potential within the body, making it a pivotal micronutrient that can help promote overall health and well-being.

Research from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data show that higher intakes of magnesium from food or supplements is associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency.

Here are some key reasons why vitamin B6 is essential:

Role of Vitamin B6 in Amino Acid Metabolism

Vitamin B6 is pivotal in the metabolism of amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of proteins. It aids in transforming amino acids into various compounds, thus enabling the formation of proteins and other crucial molecules.

Synthesis of Neurotransmitters with Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 significantly produces neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters are essential for mood regulation, cognitive functioning, and overall mental health.

Vitamin B6 and Hemoglobin Formation

Proper formation of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells tasked with oxygen transport throughout the body, necessitates Vitamin B6. Therefore, sufficient levels of this vitamin are vital for regular hemoglobin synthesis.

Vitamin B6 in Glycogen Breakdown

Vitamin B6 is engaged in the decomposition of glycogen, our body's storage form of glucose. This process is instrumental in maintaining blood glucose levels, particularly during higher energy needs.

Immune Support from Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 bolsters the immune system by participating in the production and function of immune cells. It encourages the synthesis of antibodies, which are instrumental in the body's defense mechanism against infections.

Effect of Vitamin B6 on Hormonal Balance

Vitamin B6 synthesizes and metabolizes diverse hormones responsible for modulating mood, stress responses, and the menstrual cycle.

Vitamin B6’s Role in Nervous System Function

Vitamin B6 is indispensable for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It aids in producing myelin, a protective sleeve encompassing nerve fibers, expediting the transmission of nerve impulses.

Vitamin B6 and Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin B6 plays a part in homocysteine metabolism, an amino acid. Elevated homocysteine levels increase cardiovascular disease risk; sufficient vitamin B6 levels are necessary to maintain homocysteine at optimal levels.

Contribution to Skin Health by Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 contributes to skin health by getting involved in the production of collagen, a structural protein that enriches the health and elasticity of the skin.

Vitamin B6 in Prenatal Development

The significance of Vitamin B6 extends to prenatal development, particularly in forming the fetal brain and nervous system, marking it beneficial throughout pregnancy.

Sources of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, an essential nutrient that is vital to our overall health, can be found in various animal and plant-based sources. Incorporating a variety of these B6-rich foods into your diet can help ensure you receive the nutrients your body needs to function correctly.

Meat Options for Vitamin B6

For those who consume meat in the United States, lean cuts of poultry, such as chicken and turkey breast, are excellent choices for vitamin B6 intake. They are rich in this essential nutrient and provide a source of high-quality protein with lower saturated fat levels than other meat options.

Additionally, when consumed in moderation, lean cuts of pork and beef can contribute to maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B6 in your diet.

Seafood Selections Rich in Vitamin B6

Fish lovers have a range of tasty options for obtaining vitamin B6. Some top choices include salmon, tuna, and trout, which are high in B6 and provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health.

When choosing fish, opt for wild-caught or sustainably farmed varieties to ensure you consume fish with the highest nutritional content while minimizing environmental impact.

Plant-Based Sources of Vitamin B6

For those following a plant-based diet or simply wanting to diversify their food sources, potatoes and avocados are nutritious options rich in vitamin B6. While sometimes considered less healthy, potatoes provide essential nutrients when consumed with their skin. They can be a healthful addition to your diet, such as baking or boiling when prepared sensibly. Avocados, on the other hand, are not only packed with B6 but also heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that contribute to overall well-being.

Nuts, Seeds and Legumes: Nutrient-Dense Vitamin B6 Sources

Vitamin B6 can also be enjoyed by consuming nuts, seeds, and legumes, which are nutrient-dense sources. Some of the top choices in this category are sunflower seeds and pistachios.

These provide significant B6 and offer essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and healthy fats. Chickpeas and lentils are excellent legume choices full of vitamin B6.

As a bonus, they are also rich in protein and fiber, which can help keep you full longer while aiding digestion.

Incorporating a mix of these vitamin B6-rich foods into your daily diet can significantly contribute to maintaining optimal health and well-being.

Remember to include a combination of meat, seafood, plant-based, and nutrient-dense nut and seed options to obtain the most comprehensive nutritional profile.

Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency

Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is essential to maintaining optimal health. A deficiency in this vital vitamin can result in various symptoms and health issues, compromising overall well-being. It's important to remember that vitamin deficiencies develop gradually and may not present noticeable symptoms immediately.

Therefore, understanding the nutrient intakes of healthy people and incorporating vitamin B6 from various sources into your daily diet is critical to preventing potential deficiencies and promoting long-term health.

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy. 

Common symptoms of a vitamin B6 deficiency include:

Skin and Blood Health Concerns

One of the likely symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency is dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. This inflammatory reaction could present as a rash or even cause cracks around the mouth.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can also contribute to anemia, a condition marked by a lack of healthy red blood cells. Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the formation of hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body), so its deficiency could lead to insufficient hemoglobin production and, thus, anemia.

Effects on the Nervous System

Vitamin B6 deficiency might upend the functioning of the nervous system. For instance, peripheral neuropathy, characterized by numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities, could be a symptom.

Other manifestations may include weakness, difficulty walking due to affected muscular coordination, and impaired coordination in general.

Mood and Cognitive Implications

Vitamin B6 deficiency could also elicit mood changes, such as irritability, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, Vitamin B6 is crucial for synthesizing neurotransmitters that help transmit signals in the brain.

Therefore, its deficiency might lead to cognitive impairments and even confusion.

Potential Cardiovascular Risks

Another concern tied to Vitamin B6 deficiency is the buildup of homocysteine. Vitamin B6 aids in the metabolism of homocysteine, and a deficiency could result in elevated levels of this amino acid.

Such elevations have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Impaired Immune System and Hormonal Imbalances

The immune system, too, can suffer due to a shortage of Vitamin B6, as it is pivotal for proper immune function. Consequently, a deficiency may result in a weakened immune response, leaving the body more susceptible to infections.

Additionally, since Vitamin B6 synthesizes and metabolizes hormones, a deficiency may hamper proper hormonal balance, leading to potential issues. A vitamin B-6 deficiency is usually coupled with deficiency in other B vitamins, such as folate (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-12.

This can cause a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body's tissues (anemia), confusion, depression, and a weakened immune system. Individuals with kidney failure, liver disease, or alcohol dependence should discuss their vitamin B6 status with their health care providers.


A Vitamin B6 deficiency might contribute to seizures in severe and rare cases. Even though this occurrence is uncommon, it underscores the importance of adequate Vitamin B6 intake for maintaining overall health.

The Connection between Magnesium and Vitamin B6: Research Findings

The role of Vitamin B6, when combined with Magnesium, has been scrutinized in various scientific studies. These studies shed light on how this duo can bolster the body's capacity to manage stress, enhance nutrient absorption, and positively affect vital physiological systems.

In a study investigated, scientists demonstrated the crucial relationship between Vitamin B6 and magnesium absorption in cells, particularly in the small intestine. The research elucidated that Vitamin B6 facilitates the cellular uptake of magnesium, limiting its expulsion from the cell and promoting its utilization in the body.

The findings highlighted the role of Vitamin B6 in enhancing magnesium absorption in the small intestine, hence mitigating the physiological stress inflicted on the body.

Following this, researchers compared the effects of 1g and 1.5g doses of Vitamin B6 when paired with magnesium. This comparison showed an interesting finding where a higher dose of Vitamin B6, i.e., 1.5g, increased erythrocyte magnesium levels. Erythrocytes, often known as red blood cells, are critical components of our circulatory system, responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Thus, this research suggests that Vitamin B6 and magnesium may significantly optimize erythrocyte function in clinical trials, potentially benefiting individuals with cardiovascular disease. 

Lastly, a third study delved further into the combined effectiveness of magnesium and Vitamin B6, precisely their capacity to alleviate stress. According to the researchers, magnesium alone and magnesium with Vitamin B6 could be potential stress-relief interventions.

However, the study revealed that incorporating Vitamin B6 exhibited more pronounced effects, particularly for individuals experiencing high stress levels.

This study aligns with the findings of a systematic review on the effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress, which highlighted the potential benefits of magnesium in reducing stress levels. 


In conclusion, there is an inextricable link between magnesium and vitamin B6 that goes beyond their benefits. The relationship between these two essential nutrients allows for better absorption and effectiveness when combined, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions related to magnesium levels.

Magnesium is pivotal in various bodily functions, from energy production and muscle function to heart health and immune system support. At the same time, vitamin B6 is essential in amino acid metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, and hormonal balance.

However, factors such as inadequate dietary intake, certain medical conditions, and the use of specific medications can lead to deficiencies, causing various health complications. 

Are you interested in understanding your magnesium levels? Kickstart your journey with us by requesting a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.

Once completed, you can even book a follow-up consultation with our reputed practitioners. Moreover, we provide an excellent product, Upgraded Cramp Relief. This compact solution can significantly benefit you by improving your magnesium absorption, regardless of whether you experience cramping.

Consequently, it emerges as a worthwhile addition to your supplement regimen. Begin your wellness journey now.

Barbara Madimenos

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner

Integrative Nutrition Coach

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