Magnesium For Musculoskeletal Health
Magnesium plays an important physiological role in many critical functions that occur in the human body. It is a cofactor to more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate a wide range of biochemical reactions including those associated with musculoskeletal health. It contributes to bone development, as well as the transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes to influence muscle contraction and nerve function. In fact, it is estimated that 67 percent of the total magnesium found in the body is in bone tissue.
As a result, magnesium deficiency is linked to a variety of musculoskeletal issues specifically related to bone health. A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology concluded that magnesium could help support bone structure, which is considered extremely important especially among the elderly.
For this study, researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland followed 2,245 middle-aged men for more than 20 years. They found that the men who had low levels of magnesium also had poor bone health compared to men with higher blood levels of magnesium. None of the men who had the highest magnesium levels (>2.3 mg/dl) experienced a fracture during the study period.
One way that magnesium helps support bone health is by influencing the metabolism and utilization of vitamin D, which is also instrumental to proper bone formation.. Magnesium deficiency is also correlated with vitamin D deficiency.
Many studies over the years have demonstrated that magnesium deficiency is common. “Yet chronic magnesium deficiency is not widely recognized and a major reason for this failure is that serum magnesium levels do not accurately reflect body magnesium stores,” according to a 2017 published report in the journal QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. For this reason, it can be difficult to detect and monitor magnesium deficiency.
While magnesium is found in healthy foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, many patients may not be getting enough through diet alone. In these circumstances, and when magnesium deficiency is clearly suspected, magnesium supplementation is highly recommended.
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Magnesium
|14-18 years||360 mg/day|
|19-30 years||310 mg/day|
|31 years and over||320 mg/day|
|Pregnant||Under 19 years: 400 mg/day
19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day
31 years and up: 360 mg/day
|Breastfeeding||Under 19 years: 360 mg/day
19 to 30 years: 310 mg/day
31 years and up: 320 mg/day
|14-18 years||410 mg/day|
|19-30 years||400 mg/day|
|31 years and up||420 mg/day|
Ismail, AAA, Ismail Y, Ismail AA. Chronic magnesium deficiency and human disease; time for reappraisal? QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. 2017; Sept 22.
Kunutson SK, Whitehouse MR, Blom AW, Laukkanen JA. Low serum magnesium levels are associated with increased risk of fractures: a long-term prospective cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology. 2017;32(7):593-603.
Rude RK, Singer FR, Gruber HE. Skeletal and hormonal effects of magnesium deficiency. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009;28(2):131-41.
Swaminathan R. Magnesium metabolism and its disorders. Clin Biochem Rev. 2003;24(2):47-66.