Magnesium for hips

Hip fractures are serious and may lead to disability, reduced quality of life, loss of independence and even premature death. Every day more than 40 Australians, most of them aged 65 or over, break their hip. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) say that the percentage rate of hip fractures per head of population is decreasing but the raw numbers are still increasing. The AIHW report says that prevention is key to reducing problems associated with hip fracture and according to a new report magnesium could be an important part of the preventative strategy.

The study comes from Norway where there are wide variations in the composition of drinking water from region to region. Since both magnesium and calcium ate theoretically involved in bone strength the researchers examined whether there was a correlation between calcium and magnesium concentrations in drinking water and the incidence of hip fracture.

Their analysis found that for both men and women higher concentrations of magnesium in water led to a lower incidence of hip fractures. There was no independent link to calcium concentrations.

Although calcium is integral to bone strength there is still theoretical sense to this finding. Magnesium comprises about one per cent of bone mineral and is involved in a number of activities supporting bone strength, preservation, and remodelling. Previous studies have shown that increasing magnesium intake improves bone mineral density. Additionally, calcium and magnesium deficiencies usually co-exist since magnesium is essential for parathyroid hormone (PTH) activity and also vitamin D production. Both PTH and vitamin D are necessary for getting calcium into bone.

So in keeping bones healthy and presenting osteoporosis and hip fractures magnesium is at least as important as calcium. Yet another reason to get stuck into your magnesium-rich leafy green veggies.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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