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Hip fractures are common among older adults, but this mineral may help.

Recently on this blog, we reported on a link between zinc levels in the body and a heightened risk of osteoarthritis. Now, new research has placed the spotlight on another mineral that has been overlooked in discussions on bone health: Magnesium. It's well-known that calcium and vitamin D aid in fortifying our frames, but what does the average person know about magnesium and its benefits?

According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium facilitates energy production in the body and plays an active role in bone development, among other functions. Recently, researchers in Norway sought to determine if this mineral could influence the nation's high rates of hip fractures when supplied in drinking water. The researchers observed that there was a lower rate of hip fractures in testing areas where magnesium-infused water was available, leading them to conclude that the mineral may help reduce this risk.

"An inverse association was found between concentration of magnesium [in water] and risk of hip fracture in both genders," the researchers wrote in a study abstract. They noted, though, that more research is necessary to understand this correlation.

Hip fractures are a major problem in the United States as well, particularly among the elderly. Falling is the leading cause of hip fractures among people over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC). As baby boomers age, the CDC estimates that rates of hip fractures are expected to peak at 289,000 cases per year by 2030.

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