Calcium Isn’t The Only Mineral We Need For Healthy Bones

There’s a lot of confusion around whether or not someone should supplement with calcium for bone health.

Yes, we need calcium for bone formation, but we also need magnesium since it influences the activity of osteoblasts (produce new bone tissue), osteoclasts (resorb bone), parathyroid hormone (regulates calcium levels), and vitamin D (calcium absorption), all of which are important for bone health.  Low magnesium is associated with higher PTH, which leads to more bone breakdown. Higher magnesium intake is associated with better bone mineral density.

A short-term study on 20 postmenopausal women saw that 30 days of 290mg/d of magnesium citrate suppressed bone turnover, indicating reduced bone loss.

We can’t talk about magnesium without mentioning boron.

Boron deficiency has been shown to cause our parathyroid glands to become overactive and release too much parathyroid hormone, which releases calcium from the bones and teeth and leads to high blood levels. This can lead to arthritis, osteoporosis, and tooth decay.

A quick note on postmenopausal women that I want to mention in regard to bone health:
Iron accumulation during menopause can cause an imbalance in bone remodeling–iron inhibits osteoblasts and contributes to bone loss.

Our bones are more than calcium! In order to support them, yes, we need adequate calcium in our diet, but we also need magnesium, boron, and healthy iron levels (not too high or too low), to name a few!

Learn more by listening to my calcium deep dive podcast episode on the Are You Menstrual? Podcast.

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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