The One Supplement You Should Take If You Want Vitamin D To Actually Work

It has a whole host of health benefits.
Vlogme9 / 500px via Getty Images

A whopping 20 million of us Brits are taking daily supplements – but which ones are the most effective and is there anything in particular we should be taking regularly?

According to Dr Myro Figura, a medical doctor and anaesthesiologist, there is.

In a TikTok video that’s been viewed 1.3 million times, Dr Figura recommended we should all be taking magnesium glycinate.

This is because around 20% of people worldwide have a magnesium deficiency and low magnesium levels makes vitamin D ineffective.

As Mohammed Razzaque, professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, explained in a study: “People are taking Vitamin D supplements but don’t realise how it gets metabolised. Without magnesium, Vitamin D is not really useful or safe.”

Low levels of vitamin D can impact your immune system, mental health and even bone density.

Dr Figura added that magnesium glycinate can also contribute to improved sleep – a big win for the 16 million of us Brits who are constantly battling sleepless nights.


Other documented benefits include better pain control and blood pressure #magnesium #magnesiumglycinate #megnesiumdeficiency #supplements #supplementsthatwork

♬ Little Things - Tiqta

What’s the difference between magnesium and magnesium glycinate?

Magnesium plays many crucial roles in the body, including supporting muscle and nerve function, and boosting energy.

According to the NHS, men aged 19-64 years old need to consume 300mg a day, while women of the same age should be having 270mg a day.

Magnesium glycinate is just another form of magnesium. Natural health specialists Holland and Barrett state that magnesium glycine “is formed of elemental magnesium and glycine – a type of amino acid”.

“Glycine is believed to be the most important nonessential amino acid in humans,” they said. “It acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, aka a chemical messenger in your body!”

Benefits of magnesium glycinate

According to Donia Hilal, a nutritionist at Holland and Barrett, magnesium glycinate has a wealth of health benefits including:

  • Boosting memory function
  • Blood pressure management
  • Blood sugar level management
  • Improving bone health
  • Helping with headaches and migraines
  • Helping with pregnancy-induced leg cramps
  • Helping with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Natural sources of magnesium glycinate

Of course, you may still be wary about taking yet another supplement and would rather stick to magnesium-rich foods. If that’s the case, try upping your intake of:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Wholegrain brown rice
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Quinoa
  • Tuna
  • Kidney Beans
  • Peanuts

The Department of Health and Social Care advises that you should be able to get all the magnesium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

But if you do choose to take supplements, you’re advised to have no more than 400mg a day.

Taking high doses of magnesium (more than 400mg) for a short time can cause diarrhoea. There’s not much evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that magnesium supplements can sometimes interact with types of antibiotics and other medicines, so it’s worth checking in with your GP before taking it if you’re on regular medication.