“The findings do suggest that avoiding low serum concentrations of magnesium may be a promising though unproven strategy for risk prevention of fractures,” says Dr. Kunutsor.
Increasing the intake of magnesium from food and water may not automatically increase the levels of magnesium in the blood, the authors explain, particularly in elderly people who are taking certain medications or who have gastrointestinal disorders. The authors suggest that instead, treating these conditions first and taking supplements may be an effective way of increasing blood levels of magnesium.
Principal investigator Prof. Jari Laukkanen, from the University of Eastern Finland, explains the findings and comments on the potential therapeutic role of magnesium supplementation:
“The overall evidence suggests that increasing serum magnesium concentrations may protect against the future risk of fractures; however, well-designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to investigate these potential therapeutic implications.”
The researchers underscore the impact of their findings on public health and note that most seniors and middle-aged people who are at a higher risk of bone fractures also have low levels of magnesium in their blood. This lack of magnesium is difficult to identify as it does not cause any symptoms and medical professionals do not test for magnesium deficiency as a matter of routine.
However, these findings will hopefully prompt public health initiatives to include magnesium in routine blood tests, particularly for seniors.