Magnesium supplementation may help keep your bones stronger as you grow older
06/10/2021 / By Tonie Benally / Comments
Magnesium supplementation may help keep your bones stronger as you grow older

Bone fractures due to osteoporosis are a leading cause of disability as you get older. As such, it’s often recommended that you take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help maintain your bone health. But new research shows that magnesium supplementation could be essential to the health of your bones as well.

Experts have known for some time that magnesium is an essential nutrient and component of your bone health. But until recently, no study has demonstrated its effect on reducing your risk of bone fracture.

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Now researchers from the University of Bristol in England and the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) have found that this mineral could be the key to preventing disabilities in older persons related to the loss of bone health and integrity.

Magnesium supplements make for stronger bones as you grow older

The researchers behind the study followed 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period. Here, they were able to determine that those who had lower magnesium levels in their blood had a higher risk of experiencing a bone fracture, particularly hip fractures.

But those with higher amounts of magnesium in their blood were observed to have reduced their risk of bone fracture by as much as 44 percent. Of the 22 men in the study with the highest magnesium blood levels, none experienced a fracture during the entire 20 year study period.

What’s interesting about the study is that it found that best way to consume magnesium was not through food intake. This was especially true for participants with certain bowel disorders or those who were on certain medications. For those people, eating more magnesium-rich foods was not enough to increase the levels of magnesium in their blood. As such, the study recommended the use of magnesium supplementation instead of food to avoid low blood levels of magnesium.

“The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures,” said principal investigator Jari Laukkanen from the UEF. “However, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications.”

The symptoms and risk factors for bone health problems have been difficult to detect in the past. In addition, conventionally-trained doctors do not tend to monitor blood magnesium levels. But the findings of the study make a good case for blood magnesium being used as an indicator for whether or not someone is at most risk for bone fracture and bone health issues.

Other health benefits of magnesium supplements

Supporting the health of your bones is not the only thing that magnesium supplementation is good for. While 60 percent of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, the remaining 40 percent is in your muscles and soft tissues, including your blood.

More importantly, the mineral is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. As such, increasing your intake of magnesium can also convey a number of other health benefits.

  • It boosts exercise performance – When you’re exercising, you may need 10 to 20 percent more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. This is because magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles while disposing of lactate, which builds up during exercise and causes fatigue. Studies show that magnesium supplementation can boost exercise performance for athletes, as well as elderly people with chronic disease.
  • It uplifts mood – In addition to keeping your bones strong, magnesium also plays a critical role in brain function and mood.
  • Studies show that low levels of magnesium are linked to an increased risk of depression. One particular study of over 8,800 people found that those over 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22 percent greater risk of depression.
  • It may help fight diabetes – Studies have also shown that magnesium supplementation may help people fight Type 2 diabetes. One such study found that about 48 percent of people with the disease also had low levels of magnesium in their blood. This can impair insulin’s ability to control blood sugar levels.
  • It lowers blood pressure – Magnesium can also lower your blood pressure, according to a study. In this study, people who took 450 milligrams per day of the mineral reported experiencing a significant decrease in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • It prevents migraines – Magnesium can also help fight against debilitating migraines, headaches and nausea. One particular study found that supplementing with just 1 gram of magnesium was enough to provide relief from an acute migraine attack more quickly and effectively than a common medication.

Magnesium is an important mineral that provides many health benefits for your body beyond just strengthening your bones. Consider taking magnesium supplements to experience these benefits, just be sure to consult your health professional before doing so.

Sources:

ScienceDaily.com

Academic.OUP.com

JABFM.org

WJGNet.com

Nature.com

ScienceDirect.com

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