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Friday, March 30, 2007

Magnesium may be more important than calcium for preventing otseoporosis

I have always wondered why it is that a country like NZ with its massive consumption of calcium coantining dairy products has such high rates of osteoporosis. We might now know why. The answer might be that we have been barking up the wrong tree. The problem is not with calcium intake but deficiency in the other things that allow the body to make good use of calcium. This might explain the low rates of osteoporosis in populations that have relatively low calcium intakes but little apparent osteoporosis.

According to a recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the best way to increase bone mineral density in the bones of adolescent girls is to increase their dietary intake of magnesium through foods and supplementation.

I have found, in my consultations with clients that there is widespread magnesium deficiency, causing problems with cramp, blood pressure problems, fatigue and so on.

The researchers recruited healthy adolescent girls whose daily dietary magnesium intakes were lower than 220 milligrams. The girls were randomly assigned to receive either 300 milligrams of magnesium oxide or placebo for one year. Throughout the course of the study, the researchers measured bone mineral content (BMC) changes in certain sites in the girls' bodies. At the end of the year, the girls' bone mineral content, particularly in the hips, was significantly higher than it was at the beginning of the study in the magnesium-supplement group.

Good food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, meats, and nuts but this assumes that they are gown in soils that have not been depeleted of magnesium and other trace minerals. We can safely take up to 800mg of magnesium per day.

Products from that contain plenty of magnesium include:
Calcium Complete
Phyto Calcium
Sports Multi
Magnesium Complete
Cramp Buster
Chrometate Multi-mineral
Red Seal Magnesium Mineral Drink

A factor that is essential for proper use of minerals like magnesium and calcium is vitamin D. The only way of determining if vitamin D levels are adequate is by a blood test. The optimum for health is from 120-160mmol and so far the nearest to that of those I have had tested has been a leading NZ marathon ruinner who returned a result of 106nm/l/L. Our sun scare policies are working - to our detriment.

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