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Magnesium Important to Kids’ Bone Health

Calcium intake has always been associated with bone building and dietary guidelines often emphasize that children should consume calcium-rich foods for bone health. However, researchers have found that another mineral, magnesium, may also play an equally important role in bone health and that parents must ensure that their children get enough magnesium-rich foods as possible.

Lead author Steven A. Abrams MD, FAAP, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and colleagues looked into the effect of magnesium intake and absorption on bone mineral content in children ages 4-8 years.

The report, which was presented recently at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC, involved 63 healthy kids who were not taking any nutritional supplements. To assess the children’s calcium and magnesium levels, the children were asked to stay in the hospital twice during the study. The investigators measured their bone mineral content and density using total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.  To assess mineral intake, the participants were asked to fill out food diaries prior to hospitalization. Parents were also given weighing scales to measure food and beverages actually consumed. Stable isotopes were administered to the children and were measured in their urine output to determine how much calcium and magnesium were absorbed in their body.

The results showed that the amount of magnesium consumed and absorbed predicted the children’s bone density. On contrast, they found that dietary calcium intake was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.

Dr. Abrams and his team believe that it is important that children should have a balanced, healthy diet, which includes both calcium and magnesium.


American Academy of Pediatrics. Magnesium may be as important to kids’ bone health as calcium. ScienceDaily.

Posted in: Calcium, News Briefs, Vitamins and Minerals

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