Researchers from the University of Bristol in the U.K. and the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio have come up with a new research which states that magnesium supplements can reduce the risks of bone fractures among middle-aged men. The research was led by Dr. Setor Kunutsor, a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol‘s Musculoskeletal Research Unit.
Dr. Setor and his team found that middle-aged men, with high levels of magnesium in their blood, had 40-50 percent lower chances of breaking a bone over the next 25 years. Women weren’t included in the study because the effect of magnesium on the bone strength is anticipated to be the same for both sexes.
It is a common observation that calcium and vitamin D are the most important nutrients to strengthen bones. However, this research enumerates the fact that magnesium is necessary for the healthy growth of bones as well.
Bone fractures are a common cause of disability and decreased quality of life among elderly populations. It is estimated that six million US citizens break a bone each year. 75 percent of all the forearm, hip, and spine fractures are reported in people aged 65 and above.
Magnesium lowers the risk of bone fractures by 44 percent
Low levels of magnesium hamper vitamin D production and calcium homeostasis. Studies report, that the deficiency of this particular mineral may induce increased risk of brittle bones and osteoporosis.
2,245 Finish men, aged between 42 and 61, were followed for the study. Their magnesium levels were measured, at the start of the study in the mid-1980s. The follow-up continued for 20- to 25 years. The researchers evaluated the men to see how many had suffered broken bones.
The results of the evaluation reported that men with lower levels of magnesium experienced greater fractures, particularly of the hip. The men with higher levels of blood magnesium, had 44 percent reduced risks of fractures. Only 22 of the tested subjects had very high magnesium levels i.e. more than 2.3 milligrams per deciliter. They reported no bone fractures at all.
Magnesium supplements to prevent bone fractures
Magnesium can be obtained by a variety of foods including,
- Leafy green vegetables
- Brown rice
- Whole grain bread
However, the elderly population has absorption issues. Thus, getting magnesium from the diet may be difficult from them. Dr. Kunutsor said that in such cases people must opt for magnesium supplementation. It can potentially help these people to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium. RDA of magnesium for men is 300 milligrams and 270 milligrams for women.
Note that experts also recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements to maximize the beneficial effects of magnesium supplements. This is probably because magnesium supplements have little effect on their own.
Professor Jari Laukkanen of the University of Eastern Finland states that the overall evidence suggests that increasing magnesium concentrations prevents the future risk of fractures. However, well-designed clinical trials are required to investigate the potential therapeutic implications of these supplements.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for many bodily processes. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and diabetes. However, it can have serious adverse effects for people with existing kidney issues, if taken in excessive amount.