Breakthrough Study Confirms Magnesium Is Crucial to Children’s Bone Health, Says Nutritional Magnesium Association

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New study shows that the amount of magnesium consumed and absorbed is the key predictor of children’s bone health; whereas dietary calcium intake was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.

Nutritional Magnesium Association

Nutritional Magnesium Association

This study confirms that magnesium works synergistically with calcium. Magnesium regulates the proper amount of calcium in a child’s body and ensures it is directed toward building stronger bones.

While it is known that magnesium is important for bone health in adults, few studies have analyzed magnesium’s crucial role in the bone density of young children. A new study presented on Sunday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC, validates magnesium’s vital importance.1

Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, and Medical Advisory Board member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association (NMA), at http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org, applauded the work of the researchers and stated: “This study confirms that magnesium works synergistically with calcium. Magnesium regulates the proper amount of calcium in a child’s body and ensures it is directed toward building stronger bones. Unregulated, calcium ends up depositing in a child’s kidneys, coronary arteries and cartilage, not in a child’s bones where it is needed most.

“Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium,” said lead study author Steven A. Abrams, MD, FAAP, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “Calcium is important, but except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.”

“For researchers to boldly state that calcium ‘may not be more important than magnesium’ is a huge breakthrough in helping people grasp the importance of magnesium in bone health,” says Dr. Dean.

The researchers worked with 63 healthy children, four to eight years of age, who were not taking any multivitamins or minerals, to participate in the study. Children were hospitalized overnight on two separate occasions so that their calcium and magnesium levels could be measured accurately.

Participating children filled out food diaries before hospitalization. All foods and drinks served during their hospital stay contained the same amount of calcium and magnesium they consumed in a typical day based on their diaries. Foods and beverages were weighed before and after each meal to record how much calcium and magnesium the children actually consumed. Additionally, parents weighed their child’s food at home after the first hospital stay and before the second overnight hospital stay so that dietary intake of calcium and magnesium could be calculated with accuracy.

While hospitalized, the children’s levels of calcium and magnesium were measured using a technique that involved giving magnesium and calcium intravenously and orally. Urine was collected for 72 hours. By measuring how much calcium and magnesium exited the body through the urine, the researchers could determine how much calcium and magnesium were absorbed into the body. Bone mineral content and density were measured using total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results showed that the amount of magnesium consumed and absorbed is the key predictor of how much bone children had. Dietary calcium intake, however, was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.

“We believe it is important for children to have a balanced, healthy diet with good sources of minerals, including both calcium and magnesium,” Dr. Abrams concluded.

Dr. Dean added, “Magnesium stimulates a particular hormone, calcitonin, that helps to preserve bone structure and draws calcium out of the blood, soft tissues and cartilage back into the bones, preventing osteoarthritis and osteoporosis in later life. It is important to monitor a child’s calcium intake and ensure children get the minimum daily requirement of magnesium, and go for an even calcium-magnesium balance to make sure calcium does its job properly.”

A free booklet entitled Kids’ Health: A Doctor’s Guide for Parents is available as a downloadable e-book at http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.

For media inquiries, contact Boris Levitsky at (714) 773-2695.

About the Nutritional Magnesium Association

The nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association (NMA) is a trusted authority on the subject of magnesium deficiency and provides timely and useful information so as to improve the lives of all people affected by this widespread deficiency in our diets and the related health issues associated with this deficiency. Radio, TV, magazines and professional journals interview its members regularly.

For more information, go to http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.

Reference:

1. Abrams, Steven A., Zhensheng Chen, Keli M. Hawthorne. 2013. “Magnesium, but Not Calcium Intake Is Significantly Association with Bone Mineral Status in 4 to 8 Year Old Children” [sic]. Pediatrics/CNRC, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (May 5). http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS13L1_2715.3.

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