AANP – Calcium Is Not The Key To Child Bone Health – (Wednesday, May 08, 2013)–Scientists have just reported that, despite common belief that calcium and calcium-rich foods build strong bones, magnesium has emerged as a more important nutrient for bone health in children. In fact, the study found that, unlike magnesium, calcium had no effect on infant bones. (Another study released same day found that substantial doses of vitamin D are required to build strong bones in preterm babies.) Levels of calcium and magnesium were measured using a technique that involved giving them non-radioactive forms of magnesium and calcium, called stable isotopes, intravenously and orally. By measuring the stable isotopes in the urine, the researchers could determine how much calcium and magnesium were absorbed into the body. Bone mineral content and density were measured using total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Results showed that the amounts of magnesium consumed and absorbed were key predictors of how much bone density the children had. Dietary calcium intake, however, was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.