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Health News Archive 461 - Bone Health
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Magnesium Supplements Improve Bone Mineral Content

Past studies indicate that dietary magnesium intake and bone mineral density are correlated in adults, but, until now, no data from interventional studies in children and adolescents are available. Consequently, the authors of the current study sought to determine if magnesium supplementation in peri-adolescent girls enhances bone mass.

In the placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind trial, conducted at the Yale University School of Medicine, healthy 8- to 14-year-old Caucasian girls were recruited from community pediatricians' offices. Dietary diaries from more than 120 volunteers were analyzed and those with dietary magnesium intake of less than 220 mg per day were invited to participate in the study.

The subjects were given 300 mg of oral elemental magnesium per day in 2 divided doses or placebo for 12 months. Researchers then measured the effect of magnesium on bone mineral content (BMC) in a number of areas including total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine. After one year, girls given magnesium had a 3% greater increase in overall hip bone mineral content compared to the placebo group. Increases were recorded in several hip regions, as well as in spinal bone mineral content and bone mineral density.

The results indicate that magnesium supplementation significantly increased hip bone mineral content in the pre- and early puberty group and in the mid to late puberty group. Researchers considered that the subjects had an excellent compliance rate, with 73% of the capsules used.

The scientists concluded, “Oral magnesium oxide capsules are safe and well-tolerated. A positive effect of magnesium supplementation on integrated hip BMC was evident in this small cohort.”

Source: Carpenter TO, Delucia MC, Zhang JH, Bejnerowicz G, Tartamella L, Dziura J, Petersen KF, Befroy D, Cohen D. A randomized controlled study of effects of dietary magnesium oxide supplementation on bone mineral content in healthy girls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Oct 3; [Epub ahead of print].

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