a mineral that is often overlooked, particularly in terms of bone
thought considers calcium the most important mineral for bone health.
However, the United States has one of the highest intakes of dietary
calcium and still suffers one of the highest rates of osteoporosis
in the world.
at risk for osteoporosis tend to be deficient in magnesium and tend
to have diets low in magnesium and/or high in factors that deplete
bone mineral stores. Dietary changes that include magnesium rich
foods such as dark greens, raw almonds and pinto beans while limiting
bone depleting items such as sodas, caffeine and sugar help to restore
balance to the body’s mineral stores. Magnesium supplementation
that does not include calcium for a short time (30 to 60 days) is
is necessary, the amount included in the average diet is 500 mg
per day. Supplementation of only 500 to 700 mg per day is generally
necessary to reach the ideal 1000 to 1200 mg per day. With calcium
intake at this level, it is necessary to balance magnesium intake
proportionately. A ratio that preserves bone health is between 3
parts calcium to 2 parts magnesium, or 3:2 and 2 parts calcium to
3 parts magnesium, or 2:3. Dietary intake of magnesium is approximately
200 mg. per day. Supplement level necessary to reach the minimum
3:2 ratio would be 500 to 600 mg. per day of magnesium.
people aim just to preserve their bones, studies show that bone
density actually increases with a balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium.
One specific study compared 2 groups – one that received dietary
advice and another that received both dietary advice plus a supplement
containing 600 mg. magnesium and 500 mg. calcium. The group with
the supplement increased bone mass 11%, while the other group showed
no significant gains. Other significant studies supplementing only
magnesium (no calcium) resulted in bone density increases of 7%