Why You Need Magnesium
May 02, 2018
Submitted by Elizabeth Madlem, APN, The Bone Health Clinic at Millennium Pain Center
No one can argue that having strong bones is important. After all, bones support your body and allow you to move. They protect your brain, heart, and other organs from injury. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone is aware of the things they need to do to not only develop strong bones, but to keep them strong as you age.
Bone is living, growing tissue. Think of your bones as a “bank” where you “deposit” and “withdraw” bone tissue. When you are young, new bone is added (or deposited) to the skeleton faster than old bone is removed (or withdrawn). As a result, your bones become larger, heavier, and denser.
For most people, bone formation continues at a faster pace than removal until sometime after age 20. After age 30, bone withdrawals can begin to go faster than deposits. If your bone deposits don’t keep up with withdrawals, bones can become brittle and weak, leading to osteoporosis. It’s easy to ignore bone health because there aren’t any symptoms or signs that your bone strength is declining, and it is a process that gradually happens over many years.
So, what can you do to make “deposits” of bone tissue to build up your “account” and have strong, healthy bones throughout your lifetime? Most people know that getting enough calcium is one of the most important factors for strong bones. Many also realize that Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb and process calcium. What most people do not realize is that magnesium is equally important.
Magnesium is absolutely essential in order for the body to convert Vitamin D into its active form so that calcium can be absorbed. It doesn’t do any good to get plenty of calcium if the body is not able to absorb and utilize it correctly. In fact, calcium without adequate magnesium can do more harm than good!
Calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium are all required for good bone health and they all function together. It is important that these three minerals are kept in proper balance because if you are deficient in one, it affects the levels of the other two. Most people do not get the recommended levels necessary for optimal bone health.
It is best to get adequate calcium and magnesium from foods. Magnesium is found in whole grains, avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, and green leafy vegetables, like kale. Dairy products are good sources of calcium. Vitamin D is made in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Diet alone often doesn’t provide enough of these minerals, so an oral supplement is often required. Always work with your doctor or healthcare professional to determine if supplementation is needed.
Preventing osteoporosis is a lifelong endeavor. Adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium are just one important part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program that also includes exercise, not smoking, limiting alcohol, preventing falls, and possibly medication.
For more information on osteoporosis, you may contact The Bone Health Clinic at Millennium Pain Center, 309-662-4321. They have a NEW location at 2406 East Empire St. in Bloomington, next to Orthopedic & Sports Enhancement Center. Elizabeth Madlem is a certified bone health specialist. The clinic provides screening, diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan for people who have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
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