Researchers are saying that magnesium may hold the key in trying to help reduce the incidence of bone fractures among the aging population. While calcium and vitamin D are better associated with bone health, researchers are now discovering that magnesium also plays a role as an essential nutrient and component in the bone’s make-up.
Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland looked into the data of 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period. The researchers found out that men with lower blood levels of magnesium had a higher risk of bone fractures, most especially fractures of the hip. The risk of fractures was reduced by 44 percent in men found to have higher levels of magnesium in their blood. In addition, none of the 22 men who were found to have the highest levels of magnesium in the blood experienced any fracture during the follow-up period.
According to Setor Kunutsor, a Research Fellow from the Musculoskeletal Research Unit of the University of Bristol and lead researcher of the said study, “The findings do suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures.”
While magnesium levels in the blood are usually dependent on food and liquid intake, this may not always be the case for the elderly, people suffering from certain bowel disorders, and those who are taking certain medications. In such cases, simply increasing magnesium-rich food intake will not necessarily increase blood magnesium levels. Treating underlying symptoms and magnesium supplementation may be considered as other options of avoiding low blood magnesium levels.
The findings may have a public health impact since low blood magnesium levels are known to be common. Not only that this condition is largely unnoticed because blood magnesium levels are not routinely included in blood tests. This finding may be able to trigger initiatives of the inclusion of measuring blood magnesium levels in routine health screenings.