Magnesium Clinical Evidence

Biological Trace Element Research

Aydin, H., et al. Short-term oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in osteoporotic postmenopausal women.

2010 Feb; 133(2):13643.

Topic:

How does magnesium increase bone mineral density?

Background:

Previous research has shown that magnesium increases bone mineral density (BMD) when used to treat osteoporosis, but the mechanism by which it does so has not been discovered.

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial.

Study Design:

Subjects took magnesium or received no treatment. Researchers took blood and urine samples at base line and at 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 days, then analyzed the samples for magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iPTH, and osteocalcin in the blood and deoxypyridinoline in the urine.

Subjects:

20 postmenopausal women

Dosage:

183 mg/day for 30 days

Results:

After 30 days, the magnesium group had a significant decrease in levels of iPTH, a hormone that accelerates bone loss. This group also had significant increase in osteocalcin, a bone-building protein. Urinary levels of deoxypyridinoline, a marker of bone resorption also fell in the magnesium group.

Conclusion:

“This study has demonstrated that oral magnesium supplementation in postmenopausal osteoporotic women surpasses bone turnover.”

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Carpenter, T.O., et al. A randomized controlled study of effects of dietary magnesium oxide supplementation on bone mineral content in healthy girls.

2006 Dec; 91(12):486672.

Topic:

What is the effect of magnesium on bone mineral content in girls?

Background:

Magnesium has been linked to bone health, but research is limited and interventional studies have all been conducted on adults.

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial.

Study Design:

Prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized. Subjects took magnesium or a placebo. Researchers measured bone mineral content (BMC) at the hip and spine.

Subjects:

Healthy 814 year old girls with magnesium intake of less than 220 mg/day

Dosage:

300 mg/day for 1 year

Results:

BMC increased significantly in the hip for the Mg group. Spine BMC rose insignificantly.

Conclusion:

“Oral Mg oxide capsules are safe and well tolerated. A positive effect of Mg supplementation on integrated hip BMC was evident in this small cohort.”

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Dimai, H.P., et al. Daily oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in young adult males.

1998 Aug; 83(8):27428.

Topic:

What is the effect of magnesium supplementation on bone turnover in young men?

Background:

Magnesium has been implicated in bone health. What is its role in bone turnover?

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial.

Study Design:

Subjects took magnesium or received no treatment. Blood and urine samples were taken at base line and on days 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 and analyzed for markers of bone formation and resorption.

Subjects:

Healthy 8–14 year old girls with magnesium intake of less than 220 mg/day

Dosage:

15 mmol (approximately 360 mg)/day for 30 days

Results:

Supplementing with magnesium reduced levels of intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), a hormone that promotes bone resorption. In fact, levels of markers for both bone formation and bone resorption were lower in the supplementation group, suggesting that the rate of bone turnover had slowed.

Conclusion:

“In conclusion, oral Mg supplementation may suppress bone turnover in young adults. Because increased bone turnover has been implicated as a significant etiological factor for bone loss, these findings raise the interesting possibility that oral Mg supplementation may have beneficial effects in reducing bone loss associated with high bone turnover, such as age-related osteoporosis.”

Magnesium Research

Stendig-Lindberg, G., Tepper R, Leichter I. Trabecular bone density in a two year controlled trial of peroral magnesium in osteoporosis.

1993 Jun; 6(2):15563.

Topic:

How does supplementation with magnesium affect bone density in trabecular bone?

Background:

Previous research has shown magnesium to be an effective treatment for osteoporosis, possibly because it regulates calcium transport. Trabecular bone is spongy bone found at the ends of long bones. It is rich in blood vessels and is particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis.

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial.

Study Design:

Subjects were assigned to treatment and control groups. Those in the treatment group took milk powder daily and researchers measured their height and bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and spine. 

Subjects:

31 postmenopausal women (average age 57.6 +/- 10.6 years) with noncancerous musculoskeletal pain and bone density of 1.19 g/cm3 or less. The control group consisted of 23 symptom-free postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who had declined treatment.

Dosage:

250750 mg/day for 6 months, followed by 250 mg/day for 6 months

Results:

No subject suffered a fracture during the study. Bone density increased by 18% in the treatment group. The mean increase across the treatment group over one year was significant, and that increase was maintained in the second year. In the control group, mean bone density decreased significantly.

Mechanism of Action:

Magnesium is a calcium channel blocker, which means it regulates calcium transport into cells, thus ensuring the proper balance of bone formation and bone resorption. Magnesium slows the pace of bone turnover (i.e., bone formation and bone resorption,) but the overall effect is bone-preserving.  Higher magnesium levels are associated with lower levels of PTH, which degrades bone, and higher levels of osteocalcin, a bone-building protein.