Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine took a selection of Caucasian girls aged eight to 14 and gave them either a daily 300 mg supplement of magnesium oxide – taken in two doses – or a placebo. The year-long test was double-blind.
Researchers found the girls who were given the magnesium had significant increases in body mineral content in some parts of the body, meaning stronger bones. An "increased accrual" of body mineral content in the hips was complemented with a slightly increased accrual of body mineral content in the spine.
"It's not surprise to find that magnesium supplementation boosts bone density," said consumer health advocate Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition." "Combined with adequate sunlight exposure to generate vitamin D plus healthy calcium consumption, magnesium completes the puzzle and delivers outstanding bone health to women of all ages."
The scientists found that the magnesium supplements were easily tolerated, but it should be noted that taking extreme amounts of magnesium can cause diarrhea.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the daily recommended intake of magnesium is 240 mg for boys and girls age nine to 13, and 360 mg for girls ages 14 to 18, leveling off at 300 mg as adults. Boys between the ages of 14 and 18 should take in 410 mg and keep it up as an adult.
Magnesium is found in plenty of foods, but it is found in the largest quantities in bran muffins, spinach, halibut, nuts (especially almonds and cashews), shredded wheat cereal and oatmeal. Good amounts of magnesium also can be found in yogurt and beans.
Approximately 50 percent of the magnesium found in the average human is found in our bones, according to the web site of the federal National Institutes of Health.
The Yale research was reportedly the first of its kind involving children: "Limited studies suggest that dietary magnesium intake and bone mineral density are correlated in adults, but no data from interventional studies in children and adolescents are available," the study's summary says.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.