Latest News » Calcium is not the only key to bone health, study shows

This mineral is essential for bone health among children.

This mineral is essential for bone health among children.

Though many people can pinpoint the functions of certain nutrients, like vitamin C and calcium, they may not know the exact role that other compounds play in brain health and overall development. For instance, vitamin D – which is derived from sunlight – facilitates the absorption of calcium and is therefore essential for bone growth and strength. In addition, a new study has revealed that magnesium could play just as essential a role in this process.

According to a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics, researchers have discovered that magnesium has a significant impact on the bone mineral content of children, and should potentially be advocated just as strongly as calcium.

"Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium," said Dr. Steven Abrams, lead author and pediatrics professor at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine.

The study, which was presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington D.C. this weekend, involved 63 young children whose levels of magnesium and calcium were measured over the course of a three-day hospital stay. This data was contrasted to bone mineral content as determined via X-ray.

Ultimately, the scientists discovered that the amount of magnesium in each child's system directly correlated with their bone mineral content and density, leading the study authors to conclude that the mineral's importance was comparable to calcium. As such, parents are advised to incorporate both minerals in their children's diets.

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