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Dietary Magnesium May Help Guard Against Age-Related Muscle and Bone Loss

As we age, our bodies lose skeletal muscle and bone mineral density. A recent study suggests that consuming more dietary magnesium may help guard against age-related skeletal muscle and bone loss.


Participants in the study included 156,575 people between the ages of 39 and 72. The researchers used a computerized 24-hour recall questionnaire called the Oxford WebQ to determine dietary magnesium intake.


After analyzing the data, the researchers determined that higher intakes of dietary magnesium were associated with better grip strength, measures of skeletal muscle mass, and bone mineral density. For men, grip strength was 1.1% greater in the group with the highest average intake, when compared with the lowest. In women, grip strength was 2.4% greater. In addition, free fat mass as a percentage of body weight was 3.0% higher in the highest average intake group for men and 3.6% for women. Finally, bone mineral density was 2.9% greater in the highest versus lowest average intake group for men and 0.9% greater for women.


Researchers from the University of East Anglia conducted the study. It was published on October 30, 2017, in the journal Nutrients.


Previous studies have linked magnesium to reduced incidences of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Magnesium deficiency, which tends to be especially prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.


Eating more magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains, nuts and milk is one way to increase your magnesium intake. Taking a supplement is also a good option.

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