It is a common knowledge that calcium is necessary for strong bones. But recent research shows that magnesium is equally important for bone health.
Our bodies need certain minerals for optimal health. One of the important mineral required by the body is magnesium. Magnesium helps in the important biological process of ATP molecule generation. Some amount of magnesium is required by the body for daily maintenance. Benefits of magnesium include relief from backaches, muscle contractions, and better facilitation of delivery of oxygen to the muscles. It also helps in treating diabetes, depression and absorption of many other minerals. One important health benefit of magnesium is strengthening of bones. Yes, just like calcium, magnesium also helps in maintaining good bone health.
Research and Studies
The most important fact which supports magnesium as an important nutrient for bone health is that – ‘60% of magnesium in the body is present in the bones’. This means magnesium must be really important for bone health. One research showed that increase in magnesium intake per day helped to increase the bone density by 2% of the participants. This significant increase in bone mineral density, shows that magnesium is important for bone health. Another study showed that a group of people were given a supplement of magnesium dioxide. At the end of the year, researchers found that there was a significant increase in the bone mineral density of the people in the group, which made their bones stronger.
There are not many researches done on magnesium and bone health relationship, but the studies done so far show that magnesium plays two different roles in bone health. Magnesium helps in growth of bones and gives the bones their physical structure. Another role of magnesium observed was, that the magnesium present on the surface of bones is not used for bone health, but is a reserve of magnesium and used by the body when there is magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium’s Role for Bone Health
This was about studies on magnesium. It shows that magnesium plays an important role in bone health. Let us look at how this happens. Magnesium deficiency is greatly associated with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is abnormal loss of bony tissue, which results in fragile and porous bones. Osteoporosis previously was considered to be a disease which occurred due to lack of magnesium. However, both calcium and magnesium are required to maintain good bone health and prevent osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency leads to decline in bone health, because its deficiency starts to make the bone crystals large and brittle. This makes them prone to fractures. Also, this leads to low calcium levels, and impaired hormone function, which leads to interference with vitamin D effects. This ultimately results in bone loss. Hence, to maintain good bone health magnesium is necessary.
Magnesium Food Sources & Supplements
You can get magnesium from supplements or from natural sources. If you have magnesium deficiency symptoms, then consider taking some supplements. Consult your doctor for which supplements of magnesium are suitable for you. However, magnesium from food sources is better absorbed by the body. Some of the natural food sources which are rich sources of magnesium are pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, soybeans, halibut, black beans, navy beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. If you are cooking fish or a vegetable then make sure you boil it so that its nutritional value remains high, and you get plenty of magnesium from it.
This was all about magnesium and bone health. If you feel that you have any bone related disorders, then consult your doctor to get yourself tested for magnesium deficiency. For better bone health, the doctor will recommend you to make modifications in the diet and have magnesium supplements. Make sure you follow the recommended daily dose of magnesium, to avoid magnesium toxicity.