How Much Magnesium for Osteopenia?

There has been much discussion lately about this formerly neglected mineral.  So, I am often asked, “How much magnesium should I take for osteopenia?” It is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables.

Before I can answer, I always  ask…

  • How much calcium do you get in your daily meals?
  • Do you have as much magnesium as calcium in your diet?
  • Are soft drinks your favorite beverage?
  • Do you spend much time out in the sunshine?
  • Do you eat lots of fresh (uncooked) fruits and vegetables?

These are important considerations because calcium is necessary for strong bones. But if you eat quite a bit of dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables, you may get enough calcium in your diet to supply your bones and other needs.

However, until recently, many people have been lacking magnesium, so the calcium was totally wasted.   If you take a calcium-magnesium supplement, you will probably find only half as much magnesium as calcium in each tablet.  If you don’t make up for that with extra magnesium in your food or  a supplement, the calcium you take in will not be used
Check here for a list of foods that supply magnesium.

The next question concerns phosphorus.  That too must be balanced with your calcium and magnesium.  The problem here is that phosphorus is so plentiful in the average diet.  And if you drink soft drinks, they are loaded with phosphoric acid to give them their fizz.  And that pleasant fizz just fizzles the calcium right out of your system.

You probably already know that Vitamin D3 (the natural form) is necessary for calcium absorption as it is often included in calcium preparations.   It also assists in absorbing magnesium from your food into the blood.  If you are like most of us, Vitamin D is probably under  supplied in your diet because you are not out in the sun very long and the sunshine is the best way to get Vitamin D. The latest studies recommend at least 5000 International Units of Vitamin D3 per day.  That is equivalent to less than 1/2 hour of sunshine.  Any amount less than that is simply not enough.

The last question concerns Vitamin C. Do you  at least 5 servings per day of  fresh fruits and vegetables ?   If not, you cannot have enough Vitamin C for your bone cells to use your magnesium. Most nutritionists recommend at least 3000 milligrams of Vitamin C per day for health.

We really need to consider all these factors to answer your question of, “How much magnesium should I take?”   I have found that I need 400 milligrams per day of magnesium ( I take magnesium malate)  along with my diet that is rich in uncooked fruits and vegetables.   You will need to take all the above into account in deciding how much you need.

The FDA has not evaluated these statements. The contents of this post are not to be considered medical advice and are for educational purposes only.  If you are experiencing health challenges, always consult your doctor for medical advice.

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