Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;99(4):926-33. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.067488. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

Author information

Department of Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology (TSO) and the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, College of Medicine (NA and RDJ), The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (TSO); the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA (JCL and AZL); the Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH (SB-T); the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (JAC); the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (ZC); and the Departments of Social and Preventive Medicine and Gynecology-Obstetrics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (JW-W).



Magnesium is a necessary component of bone, but its relation to osteoporotic fractures is unclear.


We examined magnesium intake as a risk factor for osteoporotic fractures and altered bone mineral density (BMD).


This prospective cohort study included 73,684 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Total daily magnesium intake was estimated from baseline food-frequency questionnaires plus supplements. Hip fractures were confirmed by a medical record review; other fractures were identified by self-report. A baseline BMD analysis was performed in 4778 participants.


Baseline hip BMD was 3% higher (P < 0.001), and whole-body BMD was 2% higher (P < 0.001), in women who consumed >422.5 compared with <206.5 mg Mg/d. However, the incidence and RR of hip and total fractures did not differ across quintiles of magnesium. In contrast, risk of lower-arm or wrist fractures increased with higher magnesium intake [multivariate-adjusted HRs of 1.15 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.32) and 1.23 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.42) for quintiles 4 and 5, respectively, compared with quintile 1; P-trend = 0.002]. In addition, women with the highest magnesium intakes were more physically active and at increased risk of falls [HR for quintile 4: 1.11 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.16); HR for quintile 5: 1.15 (95% CI: 1.10, 1.20); P-trend < 0.001].


Lower magnesium intake is associated with lower BMD of the hip and whole body, but this result does not translate into increased risk of fractures. A magnesium consumption slightly greater than the Recommended Dietary Allowance is associated with increased lower-arm and wrist fractures that are possibly related to more physical activity and falls.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center