Magnesium and calcium are equally important in preventing Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a worldwide health concern. International Osteoporosis Federation (IOF) estimates that it affects 75 million people in the United States (US), Europe and Japan. As Europe’s population ages and becomes more sedentary, the number of people affected by osteoporosis is expected to increase significantly – hip fractures alone are expected to double in the next 50 years. 
What are Osteopenia and Osteoporosis?
Osteopenia is a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered a precursor to osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis suffer from reduction in their bone mass and bone quality—their bones become fragile, leading to an increased risk of fractures.
In medical terms, Osteopenia is a situation where bone density is lower than the norm and T score (which defines the standard deviation from a healthy bone) is between -1.0 and -2.5. In Osteoporosis the T-score value is lower than -2.5 and consequences are more dangerous.
Wrongly often thought of as an “old woman’s disease”, osteoporosis affects not only one in three Postmenopausal women, but also one in five men over the age of 50,younger women and even children. Because there are often no symptoms until a fracture occurs, Osteoporosis is known as the “silent disease”. Once a fracture has occurred, the risk of a future fracture is at least doubled within one year.
Risk factors for developing osteopenia and osteoporosis include:
- Age – Decreasing oestrogen levels in older women and decreasing testosterone levels in older men can lead to deterioration in bone density. This is why the more senior members of society have to be particularly careful of their bones.
- Genetics – Those with a family history of osteoporosis, osteopenia and bone fractures are more likely to inherit these traits. Europeans and Asians are two ethnic groups that have been noted for their predisposition to develop osteoporosis. 
- Gender – Women are at an elevated risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis. Women start with lower bone densities and have a quicker loss of bone mass. 
- Pre-existing fractures – People that already have bone fracture or fractures are two times more likely to get another fracture. This is especially true for the elderly 
Magnesium and Bone Health
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Approximately 50 per cent of it is present in our bones. Magnesium helps prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis in the following ways:
- Magnesium helps control hundreds of enzymatic reactions in cells that influence bone density
- Magnesium is required for the formation of proteins that help form bone
- Magnesium serves as a calcium regulator. Magnesium is important in calcium metabolism because it is required for secretion of Parathyroid Hormone (PTH). PTH increases the production of the active form of vitamin D, and plays a role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus (another important bone mineral). It teams up with vitamin B6 to regulate the absorption of calcium into the bone. Magnesium also helps transport calcium out of the gastrointestinal tract to form bone tissue
- Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium, so individuals with chronically low blood levels of calcium may actually be deficient in magnesium
- Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, United States found that adolescent girls who were given magnesium supplements had significant increases in body mineral content in the hip bones and spine.  Another study carried out in Turkey found that Magnesium supplementation increased bone mineral density when used in the treatment of osteoporosis. 
Magnesium Supplements for Osteoporosis
If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia and osteoporosis or are at risk to develop it, you should increase your intake of Magnesium. Magnesium is a balancing mineral for calcium and it is recommended that you take both in the ratio of at least 1:1.
You can either try magnesium only supplements like Mag365 or opt for a supplement that offers both calcium and magnesium. Mag365 is a magnesium chloride-based supplement with high bioavailability of magnesium. Mag365 plus Calcium is a superior Magnesium-Calcium formulation with magnesium and calcium in ratio of 3:2. Both of these can give much needed boost to the health of your bones.
In addition to taking magnesium supplements, you must engage in regular physical activity that includes weight bearing exercises, such as low-impact aerobics, jogging, and walking. Moderate weight training will put some stress on the bones; encouraging them to become stronger over time. Regular check-ups to monitor bone loss are recommended in people over 50.
- Osteoporosis in Europe: Indicators of progress. http://www.iofbonehealth.org/download/osteofound/filemanager/publications/pdf/eu-report-2005.pdf
- Wikipedia.org, “Osteopenia”, accessed 2011-10-08. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteopenia
- Wikipedia.org, “Osteoporosis”, accessed 2011-10-08. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteoporosis
- PubMed.gov, “Epidemiology Worldwide”, accessed 2011-10-08. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12699289
- EveryDayHealth.com, “Why Osteoporosis is More Common in Women”, accessed 2011-10-08. URL: http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-and-gender.aspx
- PubMedCentral.gov, “History of fractures as predictor of subsequent hip and nonhip fractures among older Mexican Americans”, accessed 2011-10-08. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569658/?tool=pmcentrez
- Calcium and Bone Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Physiology of Calcium, Phosphate and Magnesium. Allgrove, J., Shaw, N.J. (eds): Calcium and Bone Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Endocr Dev. Basel, Karger, 2009, vol. 16, pp. 8-31
- Short-term oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in postmenopausal osteoporotic women www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19488681?ordinalpos=15&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum