How Magnesium Supports Bone Health

Magnesium and Bone Health

Osteoporosis is considered a disease of the bones. While magnesium is not a drug and cannot treat any disease, it’s informative to consider the role that magnesium plays in healthy bones.

Studies have proven that magnesium is crucial to bone health. With a lack of magnesium in the body, crystal formation occurs on the bone cells, directly impacting the parathyroid hormone and promoting low-grade inflammation. So, does magnesium help osteoporosis? And is magnesium good for osteoporosis prevention? Keep reading to learn all about magnesium and osteoporosis.

The same study says, “Optimizing Mg intake might represent an effective and low-cost preventive measure against osteoporosis in individuals with documented Mg deficiency.”

In an additional study, it is indicated that low serum magnesium levels are associated with increased risk of bone fractures. The research showed that men taking higher doses of magnesium were 44 percent less likely to suffer from a bone fracture; none of the 22 men studied with high magnesium levels had a bone fracture during the 20-year study.

Considering the information above, it makes sense to include magnesium in your daily diet to support the health of your bones. 

Magnesium and calcium work closely together to ensure bone health; an appropriate amount of both is necessary for either to be effective. Ideally, everyone, including at-risk individuals, should have a 1:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio. So, if you are taking 500 mg of magnesium each day, you should take 500 mg of calcium, which you can normally obtain from food.

What Type Of Magnesium Is Best For Healthy Bones?

When considering magnesium and bone health, evaluate which supplement to take. The Office of Dietary Supplements lists the different types of magnesium and the effective absorption rates.

Some of the most popular forms of magnesium supplements include:

  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium aspartate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium sulfate

Liquid magnesium forms tend to be completely absorbed by the gut. Overall, magnesium in chloride, lactate, citrate and aspartate forms tend to be absorbed better than magnesium oxide or magnesium sulfate.

Ideally, you would want to get the majority of your magnesium through plant and animal foods. Some good sources of magnesium include:

  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Spinach
  • Nuts
  • Fortified breakfast cereals

But with the magnesium-depleted soils that our food grows in, it’s still possible to have a deficiency even while eating healthy. That’s why many people turn to magnesium supplements as a way to get between the RDA of 350 – 400 mg. And yet many supplements are not well absorbed due to a laxative effect.

Taking pills and gummies might seem easy, but it does no good if the magnesium doesn’t get absorbed by the body. On the other hand, liquid magnesium is better absorbed, so you know how much of the supplement your body is receiving. So, if you’re asking yourself, does magnesium help osteoporosis? it’s important to consider both your every day diet in addition to magnesium supplements.

How Much Magnesium Should You Take For Osteoporosis?

Now that you understand that a lack of magnesium and osteoporosis go hand-in-hand, it’s time to take a look at how much magnesium for osteoporosis makes sense. Magnesium reserves are held in the bone, where they can be transferred to the bloodstream as needed. If you aren’t receiving an adequate daily amount of magnesium, that supply is being lost and your bone health could be suffering.

You can determine if you are magnesium deficient through a blood test or by evaluating your symptoms. On top of osteoporosis, do you also suffer from:

  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • ADD
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Angina
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • PMS
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reflux
  • Nausea/vomiting

While none of these symptoms conclusively prove that you need more magnesium, each could be an indication that you are deficient. In fact, a 2012 study says that nearly half of Americans don’t get enough magnesium, and the majority of people don’t realize it.

If you have osteoporosis, you may benefit from receiving as much as 750 mg of magnesium every day. But if you are already eating magnesium-rich foods, you might not need a supplement. However, if you don’t eat a balanced diet, it’s vital that you get your needs met through a supplement.

Side Effects And Risks

For the most part, taking a magnesium supplement for osteoporosis is considered completely safe. Some people should avoid taking supplements or speak to a health care professional before starting a new regimen. If you have chronic kidney disease or are taking prescription medications, it’s best to have your condition evaluated first. The most common medications that affect magnesium absorption include certain antibiotics, diuretics, proton pump inhibitors, and bisphosphonates.

Avoid consuming more magnesium than needed or taking lower-quality magnesium supplements – both can cause a laxative effect because the mineral isn’t absorbed by the body. By taking a higher-quality liquid supplement in the appropriate doses, you can enjoy the benefits of a better absorption rate.

Taking magnesium in large quantities or large doses of IV magnesium can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Heart arrhythmia or palpitations
  • Cardiac arrest

Some people also prefer to use a magnesium cream for supplementation. Before starting any new lotion or cream, you should test it on a small area of the skin to ensure a negative reaction doesn’t occur.

Determining whether or not magnesium helps osteoporosis isn’t easy, but getting the right amount of magnesium will help maintain healthy bones, and you may even boost your overall health. Magnesium is a primary cofactor within more than 300 enzyme systems occurring in your body. Magnesium supports strong bones by transporting necessary calcium, helping you feel healthy and vibrant.