What is the role of hypomagnesemia in the etiology of osteoporosis?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Magnesium deficiency has also been implicated in osteoporosis. [55] The magnesium content in trabecular bone is significantly reduced in patients with osteoporosis, and magnesium intake in people with osteoporosis reportedly is lower than it is in control subjects. [56] (Magnesium intake frequently is lower than the recommended dietary intake in many groups, especially elderly persons.) [57]

Postmenopausal women are encouraged to consume at least 1000 mg of elemental calcium per day, which leads to altered dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios. This calcium supplementation may reduce the efficacy of magnesium absorption and further aggravate the consequences of diminished estrogen and the greater demineralizing effects of PTH. The H+ -K+ -ATPase pump in the cells of the periosteum is magnesium dependent, which may lead to decreased pH in the bone extracellular fluid and increased demineralization. In addition, because the formation of calcitriol involves a magnesium-dependent hydroxylase enzyme, calcitriol concentrations are reduced in magnesium deficiency, possibly affecting calcium reabsorption.

Magnesium supplementation may be beneficial in osteoporosis and may increase bone density, arrest vertebral deformity, and decrease osteoporotic pain. In the large joints, chondrocalcinosis is associated with long-term magnesium depletion. [58]

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