Magnesium supplements found to prevent bone fractures

New research has found that magnesium supplements could hold the key to stronger bones in middle-aged and elderly people. Published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, the study has suggested that low magnesium concentration in the body can lead to increased risk of bone fractures.

Academics from the University of Bristol and the University of Eastern Finland conducted the study by following 2,245 men between the ages of 42 and 61 over a period of 25 years. Through the course of their research, they discovered that men with lower blood levels of magnesium were more prone to the risk of fractures, particularly hip fractures. Men who had much higher blood levels of magnesium were 44 percent less likely to sustain fractures. Researchers noted that the 22 men who had elevated magnesium levels had never experienced a fracture throughout the follow-up period. (Related: Discover more news about nutritive minerals at

“The findings do suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures,” Dr. Setor Kunutsor, lead researcher and research fellow at the University of Bristol’s Musculoskeletal Research Unit, has said.

Although it was noted that the blood levels of magnesium could depend on magnesium intake from water and food, this may not be applicable to other groups. The addition of magnesium to the diets among the elderly, people on certain medications, and people with specific bowel conditions may not raise their blood magnesium levels. Researchers have stated the importance of treating any underlying problems that may be affecting the body’s ability to properly absorb magnesium.

Among the population, low blood levels of magnesium are quite common. This is particularly true of individuals who are either middle aged or elderly. However, the majority of these individuals do not experience any of the symptoms more commonly associated with magnesium deficiency. These symptoms include muscle cramps, high blood pressure, respiratory issues, difficulty swallowing, and poor heart health. Blood magnesium is not routinely measured in hospitals, which makes it even more difficult to identify individuals who possess low blood levels of magnesium.

Kunutsor has told a magnesium supplement—300mg for men, 270mg for women—can help the people who could not get the recommended daily allowance from their diet. Magnesium, along with vitamin D and calcium, have long been linked with the maintenance of bone health. According to Kunutsor, people taking magnesium should also take vitamin D and calcium for enhanced effect. (Related: Magnesium is crucial for bone health, says Dr. Carolyn Dean)

Professor Jari Laukkanen, lead researcher from the University of Eastern Finland, has said, “The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures; however, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications.”

Fast facts about magnesium:

  • Magnesium keeps the parathyroid gland working normally. This is the gland that controls calcium levels, which in turn is essential for healthy and strong bones.
  • Aside from ensuring bone health, magnesium helps the body in other ways. This mineral also helps the body convert food into energy, reduce muscle tension and lessen the pain connected to migraines and headaches.
  • Women have a lot to gain from taking in magnesium. The noted benefits for women include relief from the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause, and minimized risk of premature labor.
  • Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts are notable dietary sources of magnesium.
  • Too much magnesium can be just as dangerous as too little of it. Taking high doses of magnesium can lead to serious stomach problems. People suffering from kidney problems are also cautioned against ingesting too much magnesium.