Magnesium is just as vital as calcium for kids bone development: Study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Magnesium is just as vital as calcium for kids bone development: Study

Related tags Calcium

Magnesium intake may be just as important as calcium is for healthy bone development, and parents should know that, suggest experts.

Dietary intake magnesium, and not dietary calcium, may be the key to developing healthy bones during childhood, according to new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in the USA.

The new data from Professor Steven Abrams and his colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston finds that intake and absorption of magnesium during childhood are key predictors of total bone mineral content and bone density - while dietary calcium intake was not significantly associated with such measures.

"Dietary magnesium intake may be an important, relatively unrecognised, factor in bone mineral accretion in children,"​ the researchers revealed.

"Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium,"​ said Abrams. "Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium."

Increased awareness

The researchers noted that parents have been long advised to ensure their child has a good intake of calcium in order to help build strong and healthy bones. However, the importance of other minerals essential for bone health, such as magnesium, have not been so well promoted.

Abrams and his team suggested that it may soon be the case that parents are urged to ensure their children also consume enough magnesium.

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1 comment

Headline indicates misinterpretation of the study data, as well as the article itself

Posted by Adam Stark,

The headline says magnesium is "just as vital as calcium" according to the study. Yet by the second sentence, we hear that, while magnesium was important, calcium intake was not. So according to the study (as I understand it; correct me if I'm wrong), magnesium isn't "just as vital," but "more vital." Or "vital, while calcium was not." These differences matter!

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