High magnesium levels may prevent fractures in elderly: study

High magnesium levels may prevent fractures in elderly: study

High magnesium levels may prevent fractures in elderly: study

Higher levels of magnesium in the blood may prevent fractures, one of the leading causes of disability and ill health among the ageing population, a new study has found.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient and is an important component of the bone, researchers said.

Researchers, including those from University of Bristol in the UK, followed about 2,245 middle-aged men over a 20-year period.

They found that men with lower blood levels of magnesium had an increased risk of fractures, particularly fractures of the hip.

The risk of having a fracture was reduced by 44 per cent in men with higher blood levels of magnesium.

None of the 22 men who had very high magnesium levels in the study population experienced a fracture during the follow-up period, researchers said.

Dietary magnesium intake was not found to be linked with fractures, a finding that has been consistently demonstrated in several previous studies, researchers said.

The findings may have public health implications as low blood levels of magnesium are very common in the population, they said.

This is especially among middle-aged to elderly individuals who are also prone to fractures. Majority of these individuals do not experience any symptoms.

Since blood magnesium is not measured routinely in the hospital, individuals with low levels of magnesium are very difficult to identify, researchers said.

"The findings do suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures," said Setor Kunutsor from the University of Bristol.

"The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures. However, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications," said Jari Laukkanen, from the University of Eastern Finland.

The study was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.