Osteoporosis is a growing concern worldwide, affecting an estimated 3 million people in the UK alone. Every year, there are approximately 500,000 fragility fractures (fractures caused by a fall from standing height or less) in the UK, with hip, spine, and wrist fractures being the most common.1https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/conditions/osteoporosis While it’s often associated with ageing, the importance of proactive prevention and management cannot be overstated. If you have read our article Are you getting enough magnesium? you may already be aware that magnesium can play a role in maintaining strong and healthy bones.2https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium The 20th of October is World Osteoporosis Day, so we wanted to delve a little deeper for you!
The Osteoporosis challenge
Osteoporosis is a silent disease characterised by the weakening of bones, making them fragile and more susceptible to fractures. It is a scary and challenging condition for our ageing population, that can have severe consequences, causing pain, disability, and a reduced quality of life.
The challenges surrounding Osteoporosis are multifaceted. It is often asymptomatic until a fracture occurs, making early detection and prevention critical. There are various risk factors associated with Osteoporosis, including hormonal changes, age, lifestyle choices, and genetics. The condition disproportionately affects older adults and postmenopausal women. Aside from the pain and stress this causes on a personal level to those affected, there is also increased cost and burden on the healthcare system and caregivers.
The magnesium connection
Did you know that approximately 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones?3https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements4https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-benefits#bone-health Magnesium is a crucial mineral for bone health, and its deficiency can contribute to the development and progression of Osteoporosis.[re]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8313472/[/ref]5https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-benefits#bone-health6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/ From calcium regulation to inflammation control, this unsung hero of mineral nutrition is one of your bone’s best allies.
Magnesium is essential for the proper absorption and utilisation of calcium in bones. Without adequate magnesium, calcium may not be effectively deposited into the bone matrix. By ensuring calcium is utilised efficiently, magnesium helps maintain bone density and strength. Think of it as a tag team – calcium makes the bones strong, but magnesium ensures it’s done efficiently.
Magnesium activates enzymes responsible for the synthesis of bone matrix proteins. These proteins form the structural framework of bones. Magnesium also influences the activity of osteoblasts, which are the cells responsible for building new bone tissue.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/ Proper magnesium levels support the formation of healthy bones.
Bone mineral density
Magnesium contributes to bone mineral density8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/, ensuring that bones remain strong and resistant to fractures. It plays a role in regulating the homeostasis of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are critical for bone health.9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/ Ensure an adequate intake of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus in your diet for optimal bone density and strength.
Chronic inflammation can accelerate bone loss and weaken bone structure. Magnesium possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the inflammation associated with Osteoporosis.10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/11https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-benefits#essential By controlling inflammation, magnesium may protect bone health.
Magnesium is involved in regulating hormone levels, including parathyroid hormone (PTH).12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8066206/ PTH plays a role in calcium balance in the body. Proper magnesium levels can help maintain a healthy balance of PTH, which is essential for bone health.
Magnesium glycinate – a superior choice
To harness the bone-protective benefits of magnesium, it’s important to ensure you have an adequate intake of this mineral throughout your diet. Magnesium-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, some seafood and our Mega Magnesium Smoothie. You may also consider a magnesium supplement to ensure you are getting adequate levels. If you are concerned about low magnesium levels, you can get a blood test done with your doctor.
Not all magnesium supplements are created equal. Magnesium glycinate stands out as an excellent option for individuals aiming to prevent or work with Osteoporosis. It is well-absorbed by the body and is gentle on the stomach, making it suitable for long-term use.
Supplementing with magnesium glycinate can help with a long list of common ailments such as trouble sleeping, muscle tension, spasms, anxiety, stress, twitching, cramps, and low energy. To learn more about this, check out our articles Are you getting enough magnesium? and Which magnesium supplement is right for you?
Questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays for bespoke advice on gut wellness.
Advice given is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always check with your GP for interactions with medications/health conditions before starting supplements.