While calcium has long been touted as the mineral to use for healthy bone formation, a new pediatric study in children is confirming what researchers have been discussing for a while with respect to bone health in adults. Few studies have looked at whether magnesium intake and absorption are related to bone mineral content in young children. This study aimed to fill that gap.
Magnesium for kids may be as important as bone health as calcium
May 5, 2013 – Parents are advised to make sure their children drink milk and eat other calcium-rich foods to build strong bones. Soon, they also may be urged to make sure their kids eat salmon, almonds and other foods high in magnesium — another nutrient that may play an important role in bone health, according to a study to be presented Sunday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.
“Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium,” said lead author Steven A. Abrams MD, FAAP, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.”
Researchers recruited 63 healthy children ages 4 to 8 years old who were not taking any multivitamins or minerals to participate in the study. Children were hospitalized overnight twice so their calcium and magnesium levels could be measured.
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