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Magnesium may protect against hip fractures
Date:2/18/2014

Drinking water with a relatively high concentration of magnesium protects against hip fractures, according to results of a study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

There are considerable variations in the quality of drinking water in Norway. The researchers studied variations in magnesium and calcium levels in drinking water between different areas, as these are assumed to have a role in the development of bone strength. They wanted to examine whether there was a correlation between magnesium and calcium concentrations in drinking water and the incidence of hip fracture.

The study results show that magnesium protects against hip fracture for both men and women. The researchers found no independent protective effect of calcium.

Enrich drinking water with dolomite

The results can probably help to understand why there are so many hip fractures in Norway. It is conceivable that enriching drinking water with magnesium may reduce the number of hip fractures. To produce good drinking water and to prevent corrosion, water utility companies add lime to the water. This makes drinking water less acidic, but calcium is added to the water as a by-product.

"Perhaps water utility companies should use dolomite in addition, or as an alternative, to lime. Dolomite contains both magnesium and calcium, while lime contains only calcium carbonate", says Cecilie Dahl, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

More research will yield more reliable results

No one has previously examined the relationship between calcium / magnesium and hip fractures in this way. The results may be limited by a component in drinking water that scientists have not included in their analysis and that is strongly associated with magnesium is the underlying cause of hip fractures.

"The protective effect of magnesium was unsurprising but the correlation between cal
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Contact: Julie Johansen
julie.johansen@fhi.no
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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