A co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including the synthesis of carbohydrates, fats, nucleic acids and proteins, magnesium is a mineral that’s essential in order for many organs to function properly, in particular, the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems.
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has therefore judged an adequate intake of magnesium for an adult male to be 350mg/day and for an adult female 300mg/day . For children, these amounts range from 170mg/day to 300mg/day depending on age (4).
As a result, some studies suggest that around 70% of the population is lacking in magnesium, due to too little seafood, oilseeds and whole grains in the diet.
This is because magnesium is classed as an essential mineral: it cannot be produced by the body and must be provided by the diet.
A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B6 (or pyridoxine) plays an important role in human health (5-7). It is involved in:
The EFSA has therefore set recommended amounts for vitamin B6 at 0.3mg/day for babies aged 7-11 months, between 0.6mg/day and 1.4mg/day for children aged 1-14 years, 1.7mg/day for males over 15 as well as nursing mothers, 1.6mg/day for females over 15 and 1.8mg/day for pregnant women (8).
However, vitamin B6 is neither produced nor stored by the body: a water-soluble vitamin, it is excreted in urine. That’s why it’s important to obtain a daily intake from the diet.
Generally speaking, the dietary sources of vitamin B6 are the same as those of magnesium, perhaps the first indication that they are meant to go together.
Indeed, it’s no coincidence that pyridoxine and magnesium are found in the same foods and are often combined in dietary supplements.
In fact, several studies have examined the synergistic effects of magnesium and vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 and magnesium offer the same benefits, are present in the same foods and the first boosts the effects of the second: that’s why you should take them together.
The most important thing is to choose a good quality magnesium-B6 combination in which the magnesium and vitamin B6 are really bioavailable. In this respect, opt for the most bioavailable form of magnesium: magnesium orotate (or the less expensive alternative magnesium malate). In terms of vitamin B6, choose a natural, highly-absorbable form (if you want to benefit from all the B vitamins at once, you can take a complex which combines all the B vitamins in coenzymated forms).
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