We all believe that calcium is number one mineral for building strong bones but the truth is quite different- calcium is only ONE of many minerals that are responsible for strong bones. According to a new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) on their annual meeting in the USA found that magnesium intake is maybe even more important during childhood.
Take a Second Peek At Calcium Claims
A study conveyed in 2004 proved that people who have excess amount of calcium in their coronary artery are more likely to have a heart attack then those who have lower arterial calcium levels. Researchers concluded that high LDL levels and calcium deposits are the most responsible factors for heart attack.
A 2007 study showed that calcium obtained from dietary sources is more beneficial for bone health than the calcium supplements in postmenopausal women.
A 2008 study also showed that calcium supplements are linked with greater number of heart attacks in postmenopausal women.
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) claims that food is always the best source of calcium: “People who get the recommended amount of calcium from foods do not need to take a calcium supplement. These individuals still may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Getting too much calcium from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones and other health problems.”
“Calcium supplements have been widely embraced by doctors and the public, on the grounds that they are a natural and therefore safe way of preventing osteoporotic fractures,” claimed the researchers, led by Professor Sabine Rohrmann, from Zurich University’s institute of social and preventative medicine.
“It is now becoming clear that taking this micronutrient in one or two daily [doses] is not natural, in that it does not reproduce the same metabolic effects as calcium in food,” they also added.
Most supplements contain calcium carbonate which is not a pure form of calcium. Also people are inaware thad dairy products like cheese and milk do not increase the calcium level. The pasteurization process only creates calcium carbonate which cannot be absorbed by the cells without the cheating agent. So, body actually takes the calcium from the bones in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process is linked with OSTEOPOROSIS.
Professor Steven Abrams and his colleagues at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston claim that actually magnesium intake during childhood is very important for healthy bones not the dietary calcium.
“Dietary magnesium intake may be an important, relatively unrecognized, factor in bone mineral accretion in children,” the researchers claim.
“Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium,” stated Abrams. “Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.”
We were all advised to make sure that our children have proper calcium intake in order to have strong bones as adults. On the other hand the importance of magnesium intake is not well promoted.
So Abrams advises parents to make sure that their children also consume proper amount of magnesium.
Proper amount of magnesium is linked with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in men and woman. But unfortunately the magnesium is the less- studied component important for bone strength.
Supplementing With Magnesium
The optimal ratio of magnesium and calcium is 1: 1. But today’s diet contains 10 times more calcium than magnesium.
You can take magnesium in many forms. There are capsules which contain 250-500 mg of magnesium. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 350-400 mg per day.
You can take magnesium on an empty stomach or with meals. You can add Epsom salts to your baths as it is actually magnesium sulfate. In this way, magnesium is absorbed through the skin.
The blood contains only 1% of magnesium and if you suffer from magnesium deficiency, your body will take it from bones.
The best source of magnesium is food especially green leafy vegetables. Nuts, seeds and cacao are quite rich in magnesium as well.