Magnesium and Osteoporosis

Note: The following abstracts are written in extremely technical language and include technical research and case studies. References are provided. For 'user-friendly' informative reading, check out the health topics presented by Dr. Martin and Dr. Davenport. Feel free to contact us for more information or if you have any questions.

Magnesium supplementation and osteoporosis

Among other things, magnesium regulates active calcium transport. As a result, there has been a growing interest in the role of magnesium (Mg) in bone metabolism. A group of menopausal women were given magnesium hydroxide to assess the effects of magnesium on bone density. At the end of the 2-year study, magnesium therapy appears to have prevented fractures and resulted in a significant increase in bone density.

Sojka-JE; Weaver-CM
Nutr-Rev. 1995 Mar; 53(3): 71-4

The role of nutrition in osteoporosis

Osteoporosis-related bone fractures are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity, with women being particularly affected. Osteoporosis is a condition of bone fragility resulting from micro-architectural deterioration and decreased bone mass; adult bone mass depends upon the peak attained and the rate of subsequent loss; each depends on the interaction of genetic, hormonal, environmental and nutritional factors. An adequate supply of calcium is essential to attain maximum bone mass, and adult intakes below about 500 mg/day may predispose to low bone mass. Supplementation with calcium may conserve bone at some skeletal sites, but whether this translates into reduced fracture rates is not clear. Chronically low intakes of vitamin D--and possibly magnesium, boron, fluoride and vitamins K, B12, B6 and folic acid (particularly if co-existing)--may pre-dispose to osteoporosis. Similarly, chronically high intakes of protein, sodium chloride, alcohol and caffeine may also adversely affect bone health. The typical Western diet (high in protein, salt and refined, processed foods) combined with an increasing sedentary lifestyle may contribute to the increasing incidence of osteoporosis in the elderly.

Br-J-Biomed-Sci. 1994 Sep; 51(3): 228-40

Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium intakes correlate with bone mineral content in postmenopausal women

Qualitative and quantitative differences in the dietary habits of postmenopausal women were studied to assess their influence on bone health and osteoporosis. A total of 194 postmenopausal women were studied with forearm DEXA densitometry. 70 were osteoporotic and 124 served as controls. Women had been menopausal for 5-7 years, and had never been treated with hormone replacement or drug therapy. A 3-day dietary recall was completed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after the examination: the results were processed by computer and daily calcium, phosphorus and magnesium intakes were related to bone mineral content (BMC). Data were compared with Student's t-test and significance was assessed at p < 0.05. Regression analysis was performed to correlate BMC and intake levels. The dietary intake of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium was significantly reduced in osteoporotic women and correlated with BMC. Calcium and magnesium intakes were lower than the recommended daily allowance even in normal women. The results suggest that nutritional factors are relevant to bone health in postmenopausal women, and dietary supplementation may be indicated for the prophylaxis of osteoporosis. Adequate nutritional recommendations and supplements should be given before the menopause, and dietary evaluation should be mandatory in treating postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Tranquilli-AL; Lucino-E; Garzetti-GG; Romanini-C
Gynecol-Endocrinol. 1994 Mar; 8(1): 55-8

The relationship between boron and magnesium status and bone mineral density in the human: a review

Osteoporosis is a disease that characteristically afflicts postmenopausal women. It is estimated that millions of people are plagued yearly with this debilitating disease. Associated health care costs are in the billions of dollars, annually. Much research has been conducted in the area of osteoporosis and mineral supplementation, mainly focusing on calcium and vitamin D. Nonetheless, more recent studies have reported possible improvements in bone mineral density in women who were supplemented with the ultra-trace mineral, boron. Boron may play a role in bone metabolism, but its role is most likely to be associated with its interactions with other minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Although the focus of this review will be to discuss the interactive role of boron with magnesium and bone metabolism, some discussion of its interactive role with vitamin D is also necessary.

Volpe-SL; Taper-LJ; Meacham-S
Magnes-Res. 1993 Sep; 6(3): 291-6

Interrelationship of magnesium and estrogen in cardiovascular and bone disorders, eclampsia, migraine and premenstrual syndrome

The anticonvulsive and antihypertensive values of magnesium (Mg) in eclampsia, and its antiarrhythmic applications in a variety of cardiac diseases, have caused Mg to be considered only for parenteral administration by many physicians. In contrast, nutritionists have long recognized Mg as an essential nutrient, because severe deficiencies elicit neuromuscular manifestations similar to those justifying its use in eclampsia. More recently, this element has been used to favorably influence latent tetany with and without thrombotic complications, to delay preterm birth, to influence premenstrual syndrome, and to ameliorate migraine headaches. Most of these disorders exclusively or largely afflict women. The lesions of arteries and heart caused by experimental Mg deficiency have been well documented and may contribute to human cardiovascular disease. Estrogen's enhancement of Mg utilization and uptake by soft tissues and bone may explain resistance of young women to heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as increased prevalence of these diseases when estrogen secretion ceases. However, estrogen-induced shifts of Mg can be deleterious when estrogen levels are high and Mg intake is suboptimal. The resultant lowering of blood Mg can increase the Ca/Mg ratio, thus favoring coagulation. With Ca supplementation in the face of commonly low Mg intake, risk of thrombosis increases.

J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1993 Aug; 12(4): 442-58

The role of trace minerals in osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a multifactorial disease with dimensions of genetics, endocrine function, exercise and nutritional considerations. Of particular considerations are calcium (Ca) status, Vitamin D, fluoride, magnesium and other trace elements. Several trace elements, particularly copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn), are essential in bone metabolism as cofactors for specific enzymes. Our investigations regarding the role of Cu, Mn and Zn in bone metabolism include data from studies with animals on Cu- and Mn-deficient diets. We have also demonstrated cellular deficiencies using bone powder implants, as well as fundamental changes in organic matrix constituents. In clinical studies we have demonstrated the efficacy of Ca, Cu, Mn and Zn supplementation on spinal bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Each of these studies demonstrated the necessity of trace elements for optimal bone matrix development and bone density sustenance.

Saltman-PD; Strause-LG
J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1993 Aug; 12(4): 384-9

Hypothesis: etiology of arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis: are imbalances in the calciferol endocrine system implicated?

Arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis are currently considered unrelated diseases. Osteoporosis involves bone calcium (Ca) loss and predominantly affects females after menopause. Arteriosclerosis is an illness predominantly affecting males, and is primarily characterized by abnormal lipid metabolism. However, pathological calcification of the arterial wall is an underlying feature of arteriosclerosis. Ca homeostasis is thus important in arteriosclerosis as well as in osteoporosis. Men also develop osteoporosis although at a later age than women, and, as osteoporosis progresses in women, there is an accompanying calcification of arteries leading to increased incidence of arteriosclerosis in aging women. Thus, during old age, both arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis are prevalent in both males and females. The dramatic increase in arteriosclerosis among women as they develop osteoporosis suggests that the two illnesses may be more closely related than previously realized. The use of vitamin D as a food supplement coincides with epidemic onsets of arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis, and excess vitamin D induces both conditions in humans and laboratory animals. These observations suggest a role for chronic vitamin D excess in the etiology of the two illnesses. Magnesium (Mg) deficiency, nicotine, and high dietary cholesterol are contributing factors that accentuate adverse effects of vitamin D.

Moon-J; Bandy-B; Davison-AJ
J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1992 Oct; 11(5): 567-83

Calcium, magnesium, and zinc supplementation and perinatal outcome

The overall importance of nutrition to favorable perinatal outcome is only beginning to be fully appreciated. Although nutritional status can be linked to such things as socioeconomic class and education, it is nutrition directly that exerts a biologic effect. This review has attempted to look at three elements and their relationship to maternal and fetal outcome. At the present time, there does not seem to be a role for routine magnesium supplementation during pregnancy. Magnesium deficiency, as an isolated nutritional deficiency, is rare, and the evidence is, at best, weak that magnesium supplementation reduces the risk of poor perinatal outcome. Zinc deficiency is also a very rare isolated nutritional finding. Our ability to measure zinc accurately, be it in leukocytes or serum, is improving, but the routine use of zinc supplements during pregnancy cannot be recommended at this time. It may be that zinc will be a useful diagnostic marker, rather than a therapeutic intervention. There is substantial evidence that the average American diet does not contain sufficient calcium. An expansive literature continues to grow in the areas of calcium and colon cancer, calcium and breast cancer, calcium and hypertension, and calcium and osteoporosis. Is it possible that our susceptibilities to these problems begin in utero? Obviously, the answer is unknown. What is known is that supplemental calcium to some degree is needed in the diets of most Americans and in about two thirds of pregnant women. Calcium supplementation seems to affect blood pressure favorably and, pending confirmation with larger trials, may significantly reduce prematurity and preeclampsia risk, thus improving perinatal outcome for a large number of our high-risk patients.

Clin-Obstet-Gynecol. 1991 Jun; 34(2): 262-7

A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium. Effect on the mineral density of calcaneous bone in postmenopausal women on hormonal therapy

The use of calcium supplementation for the management of primary postmenopausal osteoporosis (PPMO) has increased significantly in the past few years. A review of the published data does not support calcium megadosing during post menopause. Controlled studies showed no significant effect of calcium intake on mineral density of trabecular bone and a slight effect on cortical bone. Since PPMO is predominantly due to demineralization of trabecular bone, there is no justification for calcium megadosing in postmenopausal women. Soft tissue calcification is a serious risk factor during calcium megadosing under certain conditions. A total dietary program emphasizing magnesium instead of calcium for the management of PPMO takes into account the available data on the effects of magnesium, life-style and dietary habits on bone integrity and PPMO. When this dietary program was tested on 19 postmenopausal women on hormonal replacement therapy who were compared to 7 control postmenopausal women, a significant increase in mineral bone density of the calcaneous bone (BMD) was observed within one year. Fifteen of the 19 women had had BMD below the spine fracture threshold before treatment; within one year, only 7 of them still had BMD values below that threshold.

Abraham-GE; Grewal-H
J-Reprod-Med. 1990 May; 35(5): 503-7

Magnesium content of the food supply in the modern-day world

A large-scale US survey has shown that the dietary magnesium intake tends to be lower than recommended. The suboptimal intake prevalent among US adults is consistent with the pattern observed in other North American and European surveys. Several factors are discussed, including the waterborne magnesium factor, the loss of magnesium during food refining and the magnesium content of vegetarian diets, as well as various metabolic situations, e.g., hypertension, pregnancy, osteoporosis, drug therapy, alcoholism, stress and cardiac trauma. The benefits of magnesium supplementation among those with sub-RDA intakes are illustrated.

Magnesium. 1986; 5(1): 1-8

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