Life Extension Update
Magnesium supplementation increases girls’ bone mineral content
A report published in the December, 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed the finding of Thomas O. Carpenter, MD of Yale University School of Medicine and his colleagues that the use of magnesium supplements improved bone mineral content in girls aged 8 to 14 when taken over a year-long period. The accumulation of significant bone mass during youth is believed to be of importance to prevent osteoporosis in later years.
Fifty Caucasian girls with a history of low magnesium intake participated in the current study. Twenty-three girls were given 300 milligrams magnesium per day from magnesium oxide and 27 were given a placebo in divided doses for one year. Forty-four participants completed the study.
After a year of magnesium supplementation there was a 3 percent greater increase in the subjects’ overall hip bone mineral content compared with the placebo group. Small increases were observed for each of the individual hip regions evaluated, and in spinal bone mineral content and bone mineral density; however, according to the researchers, these did not reach significance.
“This study provides data supporting the hypothesis that magnesium supplementation has positive effects on accrual of bone mass in adolescents with suboptimal magnesium intake,” the authors write. “Magnesium supplementation may be an important consideration in the periadolescent group, given the suboptimal dietary magnesium intake documented in U.S. food surveys,” they note.
It is common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D work together to help prevent osteoporosis. But what about the many other essential minerals and nutrients needed for bone health? And which kind of calcium is really the best? Many people are surprised to learn it is probably not the kind they are taking on a regular basis.
Magnesium plays essential roles in bone formation and helps with calcium absorption. Studies have found that magnesium deficiency is associated with osteoporosis and bone fragility (Sasaki S 2006; Saito N et al 2005) and that adequate magnesium intake is associated with increased bone mineral density among white men and women (Ryder KM et al 2005).
Unfortunately, many people have magnesium deficiency, which may be caused by alcohol abuse or malabsorption (Takami S et al 2005). Dietary magnesium deficiency in North Americans often occurs because people do not consume enough dark green, leafy vegetables, which are rich in magnesium. If not provided in the diet, magnesium should be taken as a supplement.
Recommendations for postmenopausal women to increase calcium intake can lead to an unfavorable calcium-to-magnesium ratio unless magnesium intake is increased accordingly; the optimum ratio of calcium to magnesium is believed to be 2:1, though extra magnesium may be needed to protect against atherosclerosis.
Ask doctors what vitamin K does, and most will tell you it is involved in the clotting process... period!
As early as 1984, however, scientists reported that patients who suffered fractures caused by osteoporosis had vitamin K levels that were 70% lower than age-matched controls. These findings were confirmed in later studies showing diminished bone mineral density in the presence of low serum vitamin K levels.
The most frightening statistic showed that women with the lowest blood levels of vitamin K had a 65% greater risk of suffering a hip fracture compared to those with the highest vitamin K levels.
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