Whether you’re looking for immune support, bone health, or better muscle recovery, magnesium and vitamin C are two of the most popular supplements of choice. But like many other nutrients, there’s a lot of confusion about when to take them and if they’re safe to take together.
Although there’s a lot less risk of interactions with natural supplements, you can’t throw caution to the wind. So, we’re diving into the benefits of vitamin C and magnesium and giving you what we know on whether supplementing them together is safe.
Vitamin C And Its Role In The Body
When it comes to vitamin C, chances are you’ve heard about it in the context of the immune system. Whether that’s loading up on oranges when you’re not feeling well or knocking back elderberry syrup to fight a cold, they’re both loaded with vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that happens to be a super powerful antioxidant and immune-booster. There’s ample research showing both direct and indirect effects on free radicals and oxidative stress; vitamin C can directly react with free radicals to neutralize them and prevent damage, but it also acts indirectly to restore the antioxidant properties of the fat-soluble vitamin E 1.
Without sufficient antioxidants, free radicals accumulate in the body and can lead to a state of oxidative stress and subsequent inflammation; both play a significant role in the development of chronic diseases like cancer, autoimmune conditions, premature aging, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases 2.
But when you boost your intake of vitamin C, you can increase your blood antioxidant levels by a whopping 30%, which helps the body fight inflammation 3, 4.
But it’s not just about protecting the body against free radicals. Vitamin C is also important for:
- Supporting immune function
- Regulating blood pressure
- Enhancing non-heme iron absorption
- Reducing cholesterol
- Protecting brain health
And when it comes to your health, vitamin C has a plethora of nutritive allies—including magnesium.
The Benefits Of Magnesium
If you’re talking about super minerals, magnesium is sure to make the list. It’s found within cells where it acts as a counter-ion for ATP, as well as a cofactor for over 300 enzymatic reactions, many of which generate ATP 5.
Because ATP is required for virtually every process in the human body—glucose utilization, fat, protein, nucleic acid synthesis, coenzymes, muscle contraction, and more—magnesium becomes essential to proper body function.
Insufficient levels interfere with many biological processes, including muscle contraction, vascular tone, heartbeat, neurological function, and others.
But perhaps one of its most notable functions is as a calcium antagonist, whereby it counteracts the action of calcium to regulate muscle contraction and relaxation, and neurotransmitter release.
But it may also have a role in regulating insulin levels, showing promise for people with diabetes. There’s a fair bit of evidence showing altered insulin secretion and sensitivity in both animals and humans deficient in magnesium 6, 7.
On top of that, magnesium also plays a major role in:
- Vitamin D production
- Bone health
- Energy levels
- Muscle recovery
- Skin health
Although magnesium is widely available in many food sources, a good chunk of the population is still deficient. And because serum magnesium isn’t an accurate reflection of intracellular magnesium levels, which make up 99% of total body magnesium, deficiency often goes undiagnosed 8.
When you combine that with a high prevalence of chronic disease, medication use, decreased food concentrations, and a high intake of magnesium-poor food like refined and processed goods, it’s a perfect recipe for magnesium deficiency.
Can You Combine Vitamin C And Magnesium?
Although the functions of vitamin C and magnesium may not overlap like other nutrients, there’s no harm in taking them simultaneously. With no known interactions, vitamin C and magnesium can safely be supplemented together.
In fact, one study actually found that adding magnesium ions to high-dose vitamin C supplementation in cancer treatment can enhance the anticancer effects of vitamin C 9. But for anyone not mega-dosing vitamin C, there’s little to worry about if you’re also taking magnesium at the same time.
Where To Find Them
Vitamin C: Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit), Kakuda plums, acerola cherries, chili peppers, rose hips, guavas, sweet red peppers, parsley, broccoli, green beans, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kiwis, papaya, sweet potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes.
Magnesium: Dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut), leafy greens (kale, collard greens, turnip greens, spinach), broccoli, beans and legumes, bananas, brown rice.
While it’s wholly possible to get enough vitamin C and magnesium through food if you’re making a concerted effort, why not make things easy with a multivitamin? But not just any multi—Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi.
We’re talking about the world’s most innovative and modern multivitamin designed specifically for balance and support.
With over 17+ essential vitamins and minerals complexed with cofactors to boost absorption and bioactivity, Multi supplies exactly what your body needs in the correct doses to fill in nutritional gaps and promote hormonal balance.
- Bendich A., Machlin LJ., Scandurra , Burton GW., Wayner DDM. The antioxidant role of vitamin C. Advances in Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 1986;2(2):419-444.
- Pham-Huy LA, He H, Pham-Huy C. Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. Int J Biomed Sci. 2008;4(2):89-96.
- Kim MK, Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. Effect of five-year supplementation of vitamin C on serum vitamin C concentration and consumption of vegetables and fruits in middle-aged Japanese: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003;22(3):208-216.
- Popovic LM, Mitic NR, Miric D, Bisevac B, Miric M, Popovic B. Influence of vitamin C supplementation on oxidative stress and neutrophil inflammatory response in acute and regular exercise. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:295497.
- Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics.Clin Kidney J. 2012;5(Suppl 1):i3-i14.
- Reis MA, Reyes FG, Saad MJ, Velloso LA. Magnesium deficiency modulates the insulin signaling pathway in liver but not muscle of rats. J Nutr. 2000;130(2):133-138.
- Barbagallo M, Dominguez LJ. Magnesium metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2007;458(1):40-47.
- DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Wilson W. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis (published correction appears in Open Heart. 2018 Apr 5;5(1):e000668corr1). Open Heart. 2018;5(1):e000668.
- Cho S, Chae JS, Shin H, et al. Enhanced Anticancer Effect of Adding Magnesium to Vitamin C Therapy: Inhibition of Hormetic Response by SVCT-2 Activation. Transl Oncol. 2020;13(2):401-409.