People in the US consume more calcium or calcium supplements than any other group in the world. On top of that, they have added additional calcium to their fruit juices, crackers, cereals, and countless other processed foods.
However, the highest incidence of osteoporosis is in the US. How is that possible? Osteoporosis occurs when a person lacks calcium and has terrible bone health. But, don’t people in the US consume more calcium than any other group in the world?
Are we missing something?
Magnesium vs. Calcium
Well, 40 years ago, scientists began investigating this phenomenon and prescribed calcium to many women and men over the age of 40. Their goal was to counter the effects of bone loss that can appear with age.
Of course, scientists thought that the calcium deficiency was the culprit behind the unhealthy bones. However, it took them 40 years to finally conclude that calcium is not the only thing that our bones need. On the contrary, there is something else that most people lack if they want to prevent osteoporosis.
And, the answer is magnesium. That is right; scientists believe that magnesium is the key to achieving healthy bones since it can help assimilate and use the calcium along with the other nutrients in the body.
As a result, if people consume an excessive amount of calcium, but don’t have enough magnesium, the body can’t properly use all that calcium. As a result, this calcium can become toxic to the body and cause some painful conditions.
Therefore, scientists now believe that magnesium is far more important than calcium if we want to keep our bones healthy. Besides, magnesium helps with more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and it is necessary for the overall health.
Furthermore, magnesium plays a vital role in the production of energy, relaxation, bone formation, digestion, muscle contraction, and cell division. So, without the necessary level of magnesium, the body can’t function properly.
In the end, this will affect the kidneys, adrenals, heart, and even the entire nervous system.
The head of a study at the Baylor College of Medicine, Abrams, focused on the absorption and intake of magnesium in children. His research led him to some shocking results. He proved that no matter how much calcium you take, it won’t affect the bone density and the total mineral content in the bones.
However, magnesium proved useful. It seems that it can positively affect both the level of minerals and the bone density. Therefore, people should pay attention to the dietary magnesium consumption, especially for their children.
According to Abrams, consuming enough nutrients is crucial for healthy bones. But, magnesium is the most vital mineral for proper bone health. Even though calcium is still important, people should also consume magnesium if they want their entire body to function properly.
However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about calcium. On the contrary, calcium is still important for the bones. But, you should also supply your body with the adequate amount of minerals, such as magnesium.
As a result, parents should make sure that their children get the amount of magnesium they need. This way, their bones will become stronger and function without problems. That is why we need to raise the awareness of the important role magnesium has in the body, especially the bones.
Besides, magnesium is not only important for children, but it is also important for the elderly. They have an increased risk of bone fractures. Therefore, they should consume plenty of magnesium as well, says Kathryn M. Ride and her colleagues from the University of Memphis at Tennessee.
The normal ration of calcium to magnesium in a diet was 1:1. A ratio that is between 1:1 and 2:1 is proper. Therefore, it is alright to consume 400 mg of magnesium to 800 mg of calcium. But, the problem is that today’s diets contain ten times more calcium than magnesium.
That is the reason behind the various bone problems. However, it is easy to consume magnesium, since it comes in many forms. Chloride or magnesium oxide, along with chelated magnesium is alright to take. Moreover, capsules contain from 250 to 500 mg of magnesium.
Also, you can use a magnesium/calcium supplement. Furthermore, the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is from 350 to 400 mg per day. But, to obtain optimal levels, there is a possibility that you will need twice as much.
Doctors recommend that the best way to take magnesium is to divide the doses through the entire day. You can also choose to take it on a full or an empty stomach. It is up to you. Moreover, feel free to add Epsom salt to your bath.
The reason for this is because Epsom salt contains magnesium and can be great for the body. The skin absorbs this type of salt and replenishes its magnesium stores. So, the next time you plan on enjoying a warm bath, add a bit of Epsom salt.
Aside from all the supplements that contain magnesium, the best way to get the magnesium your body needs is by eating good food. Food is always the best source of natural magnesium.
Therefore, start adding more foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, cacao, seeds, and other foods that are both healthy and rich in magnesium.
When we consume an excessive amount of calcium, it increases the risk of heart attacks, especially for women. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, calcium supplements are not as healthy as dietary calcium.
So, by consuming too much calcium from processed foods, you increase the chance of developing kidney stones and various health problems. Furthermore, calcium supplements and pasteurized milk are full of calcium carbonate.
The body has a difficult time absorbing this compound if the chelating agent, like the citric acid, is not present. Another study from 2007 also supported these claims. Scientists believe that dietary calcium is far better than all the other calcium supplements.
That is why people should focus on providing the nutrients that their body needs by consuming natural and healthy foods.
Purchasing Magnesium & Calcium Supplements
It is important that you consult with a doctor first before you decide to consume either magnesium or calcium supplements. Consult also with nutritionists if you have diabetes or other health conditions that might require more attention.
Various supplements, calcium or magnesium, have different ratios. Therefore, you should know which ones are good for your health. Whether you like to choose a tablet, capsule or something chewable, you should always consult with a medical professional.
Moreover, for people who don’t like pills, there is a liquid magnesium-calcium supplement that they can take. But, read the labels. It is important to know what you are buying and if it can have some serious side effects.
Of course, don’t make that decision alone and consult with a pharmacist.
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