There are seven essential minerals your body needs for healthy, optimal functioning. Absorption of these minerals is key to getting the maximum benefits from them. Not all of them can be taken at the same time, as some interfere with the absorption of others. The good news with zinc and magnesium is that, so long as you don’t take zinc to excess, their absorption is mutually reinforcing and complimentary.
Zinc is a trace mineral, which means the body only needs it in small amounts. As a micronutrient, zinc is a cofactor in many enzymatic processes (polymerases and proteases) involved in numerous cellular functions. Zinc plays a major role in building proteins, healing damaged tissue, creating DNA, the growing of cells, and supporting immune and digestive health.
Zinc is absorbed in the small intestines and should, ideally, be taken with copper to prevent mineral imbalances. It is both limited and poorly absorbed in plant-based food, so vegans and vegetarians may have an increased need for zinc supplementation.
In a random cross-over study looking at the bioavailability of two oral forms of zinc, zinc bis-glycinate chelate and zinc gluconate, the results suggest the former (chelated zinc) absorbs better than the latter (zinc gluconate). The zinc formulated at Care/of contains the chelated form of zinc and copper to ensure easier digestion and mineral balance.
Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in the body and it is found in every cell. It is essential for immune function, enzyme reactions, protein production, and cell growth and division. It is essential for a healthy immune system and overall health.
This literature review found that zinc supplements can boost the gut barrier function.
This abstract contends that zinc’s major role in regulating every phase of the wound healing process from membrane repair, oxidative stress, coagulation, immune defense, tissue re-epithelization, and angiogenesis to fibrosis/scar formation needs to be further studied. Inquiry into the mechanisms of zinc will greatly advance the treatment and care of difficult to heal wounds.
Oysters contain significantly more zinc than any other food, but let’s face it, oysters aren’t everyday fare. Beef is especially high on the list of foods that are rich in zinc, as are blue crab, fortified breakfast cereals, and pumpkin seeds. Pork, turkey, shrimp, cheddar cheese, lentils, milk, Greek yogurt, sardines, brown rice, kidney beans, broccoli, mushrooms, kale, salmon, peanuts, cashews, chickpeas, whole wheat bread, and eggs all contain zinc, though all contain less than 20% of the daily value (DV).
Magnesium is a macro-mineral that is essential for close to 300 enzymes in the body and a multitude of chemical reactions. It is largely found in the skeletal system and is an important component of strong bones and teeth. Magnesium plays a crucial role in the body’s production of energy, as well as supporting nerve and muscle function. It also helps to keep the heart rhythm steady and to maintain an already healthy blood pressure. Stress, alcohol, exercise/sweating, and caffeine can deplete magnesium levels.
Magnesium supports muscle function and recovery. This review found that magnesium supplementation may improve performance in both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Researchers call for more rigorous, large-scale human research in order to establish the causal relationship.
This abstract reports that magnesium partially reverses sleep EEG and nocturnal neuroendocrine changes that occur in humans during the aging process. They also report the possible efficacy of magnesium as a mood stabilizer. More research is called for.
Magnesium is purported to help with stress levels. While stress can increase the potential for magnesium deficiency, there is also evidence that magnesium deficiency can increase the potential for stress. More studies are needed to determine the need for magnesium supplementation during stress periods.
This analysis reports that persons with mental and physical stress can benefit from a daily intake of 400mg of magnesium over a 90 day period. The researchers contend that this daily supplementation could promote optimal magnesium levels to help alleviate magnesium deficiency-associated symptoms, such as occasional restlessness, irritability, or lack of concentration.
Magnesium can help maintain healthy bones (60% of magnesium in the body is found in the bones). In this study supplementation with magnesium supported healthy bone mineral density.
Generally speaking, foods containing dietary fiber are a good source of magnesium. The list of magnesium rich foods includes almonds, avocados, Brazil nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, spinach, yogurt, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, black beans, brown rice, edamame, kidney beans, bananas, raisins, chia seeds, potatoes with skin, and whole grain bread. Care/of has an excellent article on magnesium-rich foods and how to integrate them into your diet.
Zinc and magnesium are both essential minerals, and there is a misconception that you should not take the two of them together. In fact, when taken together at the correct dosage, zinc and magnesium can help reinforce each other’s absorption. All nutrients interact with one another in some way. Zinc and magnesium are synergistic minerals, meaning they can work together to enhance absorption and maximize their overlapping benefits. They work so well together that there are a number of oral supplements that contain both minerals.
Magnesium helps your body to regulate its zinc levels, while zinc enables your body to absorb magnesium more efficiently. It is important that you keep your dose of zinc below 50mg per day because it can disrupt the magnesium absorption with larger doses.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of zinc for adults is: female 8mg, male 11mg, pregnant person 11mg, lactating person 13mg.
The RDA of magnesium for adults is: female 280 to 300mg, male 270 to 400mg, pregnant person 320mg, lactating person 340 to 355mg.
Taking high levels of zinc in supplement form may interfere with magnesium absorption. If you are taking zinc at an extremely high dose due to medical issues, take zinc either two hours before or two hours after you take magnesium.
Iron should be taken separately from all other minerals in order to prevent absorption issues. Calcium will also compete for absorption with other minerals, especially when taken in higher doses. It is okay to take calcium, zinc, and magnesium together in small amounts as part of a multivitamin, but if taking each on its own it is usually best to separate the calcium.
Care/of has an excellent article, Get the Most Out of Your Supplements: What Go Well Together, that will help you in figuring out the supplements that work together and those that don’t. As always, when you are changing your supplementation, you should always ask your physician or healthcare provider what the best course of action is in order to meet your needs.