Healthy Bones Need Healthy Kidneys… and the “Miracle” Mineral You Need for Both

Focusing on improving your bone density or on a single treatment option can sometimes lead people to forget that bone health involves the whole body. Good bone health is a whole-body effort, involving the lungs, stomach, liver, and kidneys. When one system in unhealthy, it can trigger a series of events that may increase bone loss and put you at greater risk for developing osteoporosis.

The cycle begins with the kidneys because they are the body’s filtration system – they control what stays in, and what leaves the body. Healthy kidneys keep the right amounts of phosphorus and calcium in your body.  When your kidneys are not working, too much phosphorus can build up in your blood.  This can cause your body to pull calcium from your bones, making them weak. Healthy kidneys also help your body use vitamin D to its fullest, including helping build bone.

Magnesium – A “Miracle” Mineral

Your kidneys also control your magnesium levels, and they typically excrete about 120 mg of magnesium into your urine each day.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient – it contributes to the structural development of bone. More than that, magnesium is a factor in over 300 metabolic pathways in the human body including increased bone formation in spongy bone such as the bone in the spine. While calcium is important for the hard shell that’s on the outside of bone, it is magnesium that’s important for the spongy ‘inside’ bone so the bone doesn’t collapse as easily when injured.

Most people aren’t getting enough magnesium in their daily diets, even though magnesium is found in many foods such as nuts, spinach, avocados, potato skins, brown rice and yogurt. Some types of food processing significantly reduce foods’ magnesium content.

Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms, including magnesium oxide, citrate, and chloride.  But here’s where it gets important: the Supplement Facts panel on a dietary supplement label declares the amount of elemental magnesium in the product, not the weight of the entire magnesium-containing compound. The Supplement Facts panel will not tell you how much of the magnesium will be absorbed and used by your body.  Magnesium oxide is not very well absorbed – it gets only 4% into the body. By contrast, Magnesium Citrate in supplements gets about 70% absorbed, which is on par with foods.

Quality depends on the amount of magnesium in the supplement and how bioavailable it is. Bioavailability refers to the amount of magnesium in the supplement that can be assimilated by the digestive system and used for cellular activity and health benefit.

As we age, kidney function typically declines, and so does our ability to absorb magnesium, so the form of supplemental magnesium becomes increasingly important. Choose magnesium citrate.

How can you tell if you’re getting enough magnesium?

Assessing magnesium status is difficult because most magnesium is inside cells or in bone. There are a variety of tests but none are considered satisfactory.  Measuring blood levels of magnesium doesn’t give a good idea of magnesium needs because the body takes magnesium from bones and other places to keep the blood levels constant. What counts is the total amount of magnesium in the body, including muscles, bones and other organs (instead of just the amount that’s circulating in the blood at any given moment). In cases of severe deficiency, the blood levels are also low - but that’s a late indicator of inadequate magnesium intake.

Deficiencies in calcium and Vitamin D are often a signal of deficiencies of other important bone building nutrients like magnesium.

What can you do?

In order to keep total body magnesium levels up to the healthy levels, people should try harder to make sure they are taking in enough. The RDA for men ages 31-51+ is 420 mg/day, and for women of the same age range it’s 320 mg/day - but the majority of American women older than forty consume less than 225 mg/day. Silical System provides 100 mg of Magnesium Citrate – or 25% of your daily value.

Magnesium supplements should also be taken with a balancing dose of calcium and vitamin D. Supplementation with calcium and Vitamin D without a balancing amount of magnesium may cause further magnesium deficiency and advance bone loss. Silical 1, part of the Silical System*, pairs calcium, vitamin D and magnesium to get the most benefits of each nutrient for safe yet effective bone building.

Adding boron to your bone health supplement program may also be a good idea, because boron has been shown to increase the body’s ability to absorb magnesium, and also increases the kidneys’ ability to keep magnesium so that it is not lost in urine.

*Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Leave a Reply