Health

Magnesium, NOT Calcium, Is the Key to Healthy Bones

We’ve all been led to believe that calcium is the main ingredient when it comes to healthy, solid and strong bones but in reality it’s just one of the many minerals our body needs to maintain our bones strong and healthy.

Health experts now say that daily intake of magnesium is much more important than calcium when it comes to the formation of healthy and solid bones in adolescent youth. This was supported by a research conducted by the Pediatric Academic Societies from the US.

Is calcium really that important?

Standard medicine has long advised us that if we have weak bones the best course of treatment is supplementing with calcium. This had been supported by numerous studies and researches, we’ve all been hearing that calcium is the key to healthy teeth and bones but how viable is supplementing with calcium?

According to a research from 2004 people who have excess calcium in the coronary artery and who are on a statin therapy have a 17 times higher risk of a heart attack compared with those with lower calcium levels in their system. Scientists believed that LDL cholesterol levels and calcium build up were the two most important factors that influenced heart attack risk.

According to a research from 2007 calcium from food has a far better effect on your bones than calcium supplements in women undergoing postmenopausal period.

A research from 2008 revealed that supplementation with calcium can be linked to a higher number of heart attack in women in menopause.

A meta-analysis from 2010 revealed that supplementation with calcium (without vitamin D) also increase the risk of heart attacks.

The NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation) food is definitely the best source of calcium for your overall health and people who get the needed calcium for strong bones from the food they eat aren’t required to supplement with the mineral. However, this doesn’t exclude the need for vitamin D supplements. Too much calcium from supplements can actually increase your risk of kidney stones and additional health issue, as studies have suggested.

Health experts and nutritionist speak volumes of these calcium supplements saying that they’re natural and therefore cannot be health detrimental, on the contrary, they can actually lower the risk of osteoporosis. But as recent studies suggest, calcium supplements can never replace the calcium from food, they don’t have the same metabolic effect in your body and hence are not as natural as we assume.

The majority of calcium supplements on the market now contain just calcium carbonate, a secondary calcium source and the manufacturers then add simple chelating agent, usually a citrus extract, to make the calcium more absorbable. You can assume that the final product we, customers, receive, can never cut even close to the other calcium supplements, like calcium orotate.

And then there is the myth we all believe in, that goes in favor of the dairy factories across the globe, that milk, cheese and other dairy product actually increase your calcium levels. This is just a myth, because the manufacturing method only results in calcium carbonate which can’t even enter your cells without a chelating agent.

What happens in your body next? The calcium from your bones and tissues is forced to your blood to cushion the calcium carbonate from milk. This process actually is the main factor that contributes towards the onset of osteoporosis. If you drink pasteurized milk your body doesn’t benefit from it, it can only be detrimental to your health.

The Increasing Awareness About Magnesium

Professor Steven Abrams and his research team from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston brought some new information to light – the regular intake of magnesium during adolescence is one of the key factors for strong and thick bones while the calcium levels aren’t linked to bone health at all.

The researchers were able to determine that magnesium intake from food may be the most essential but unrecognized factor in bone health, especially in children.

When it comes to children’s bones and their health there are a number of key minerals and other nutrients, magnesium being one of the most important ones, Abrams stresses out. Calcium is also important but unless the calcium levels are virtually zero then it cannot be more important than magnesium.

Parents have always been urged to mind their children’s calcium intake as a means to ensure their bones are healthy and strong but they were never encouraged to do the same regarding other minerals including magnesium. Professor Abrams and his research team suggested that doctors soon start advise parents to ensure their children have sufficient magnesium intake as well.

Higher magnesium intake is closely related to higher bone mineral density in both men and women. There’s a 2% higher bone mineral density level for every increased 100mgr of magnesium intake.

Osteoporosis and related fractures are one of the biggest concerns for people reaching older age. This discovery about magnesium can alter the way we look at osteoporosis and result in new, revolutionary treatments of the disease.

Supplementing With Magnesium

Throughout history our eating regimen and the intake of dietary magnesium and calcium has always been in equal 1:1 ratio, which has been regarded as an ideal proportion. Even if the ratio is down to 1:1 (for every 800gr of calcium an intake of 400gr of magnesium) it’s still satisfactory. Unfortunately, today’s modern diets contain up to 10 times less magnesium than calcium.

You can find magnesium in many forms, magnesium chloride or magnesium oxide are fine and the usual ampules contain about 250-500 mg magnesium. Then there are calcium/magnesium supplements which are also beneficial, just experiment with the doses until you find the right for you. The recommended daily intake for magnesium is about 400mg but ideally you’d need to take maybe twice as much.

The best way to take magnesium is in a few times during the day, in isolated measures, either with your meals or on an empty stomach.

Epsom salts are another good way to increase your magnesium levels, as they are magnesium sulfate. Your body will absorb it through the skin if you often enjoy Epsom salt baths.

Our blood contains only 1% of the magnesium in our body and if the level is decreased the body will get it from your tissues and bones. This means that it’s easy for a blood test to show your magnesium levels are normal when actually the situation with the rest of your body is quite the opposite.

The best magnesium source is and will always be food rich in magnesium. To increase your magnesium levels consume more green leafy veggies, seeds, cacao and nuts, they contain the highest levels.

 

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