Specific nutrients to support bone formation
The importance of magnesium for bone health has been known for many years.
When a group of menopausal women were given magnesium for 2 years, it prevented fractures and resulted in a significant increase in bone density (Sojka JE, Weaver CM, 1995).
A newer study, including 73,684 postmenopausal women, found that lower magnesium intake was associated with lower bone mineral density of the hip and the whole body (Orchard TS, et al. 2014).
Calcium is not the only nutrient important for bone formation.
Actually, you don’t need to supplement with huge amounts of calcium because that will not help you, it may, instead, harm you.
Several other minerals are also important, especially magnesium.
A 50 mg per day increment of magnesium intake was associated with 22% lower coronary artery calcification, and the odds of having any coronary artery calcification were 58% lower in those with the highest intake compared with the lowest intake of magnesium (Hruby A, et al. 2014).
You don’t want calcification of your arteries , so don’t only take calcium, you need the other minerals also.
When a group of older postmenopausal women taking 1000 mg of calcium were compared with a group taking the calcium and also zinc, copper and manganese and another group only taking the zinc, copper and manganese, the only significant group difference for bone loss occurred between the placebo group and the group taking calcium, zinc, copper and manganese (Strause L, et al. 1994).
Not only have these minerals been documented to support bone formation, but they are also important to help keep the cartilage in your joints healthy.
You also need adequate vitamin D to keep your bones healthy (Holick MF, 2004).
To help you maintain healthy bones and cartilage
Holick MF. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S.
Hruby A, O’Donnell CJ, Jacques PF, Meigs JB, Hoffmann U, McKeown NM. Magnesium intake is inversely associated with coronary artery calcification: the Framingham Heart Study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Jan;7(1):59-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2013.10.006. Epub 2013 Nov 27.
Orchard TS, Larson JC, Alghothani N, Bout-Tabaku S, Cauley JA, Chen Z, LaCroix AZ, Wactawski-Wende J, Jackson RD. Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;99(4):926-33. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.067488. Epub 2014 Feb 5.
Strause L1, Saltman P, Smith KT, Bracker M, Andon MB. Spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women supplemented with calcium and trace minerals. J Nutr. 1994 Jul;124(7):1060-4.