Magnesium may protect against hip fractures

February 18, 2014, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Magnesium may protect against hip fractures
Credit: colourbox.com

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 .

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 calcium and magnesium in water and hip fracture was complex and somewhat unexpected. Therefore more research is needed to get a more reliable result of the relationship between drinking water and hip fractures and to get a better picture of the biological mechanism in the body," says Cecilie Dahl.

Major public health problem

Hip fractures are a major problem and Norway has one of the highest levels in the world. Each year, about 9,000 people in Norway have a fracture, with major consequences for those affected and for society. Many risk factors for the disease are known, such as smoking, height and weight, physical activity and diet, including intake of vitamin D. However, these factors explain only a small part of what we call risk of hip fracture. Several studies have also shown that there are relatively large variations in the incidence of hip fractures between regions in Norway.

About the study

This project is unique for two reasons; researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health created a registry of all hip fractures in Norway and a map showing the coverage of the various water utility companies in Norway. This made it possible to determine which water utility company is most likely to supply each area in Norway. The researchers used geographical information systems to do this.

The researchers compiled data from three sources; an earlier project on in Norway (Trace Metals Project), the National Population Register with inhabitants in Norway from 1994 until 2000, and the register of hip fractures in Norway. These data sources were linked together to create a compilation of fractures in areas with the highest and lowest areas of and .

The researchers followed approximately 700,000 men and women over seven years and registered about 5,500 hip fractures among men and 13,600 hip fractures for women in this period.

Explore further: Hong Kong study shows lower survival rates after second hip fractures

More information: Dahl, C., AJ Sogaard, GS Tell, TP Flaten, D. Hongve, TK Omsland, K. Holvik, HE Meyer and G. Aamodt (2013). "Nationwide data on municipal drinking water and hip fracture: Could calcium and magnesium be protective? A NOREPOS study." Bone 57 (1): 84-91. www.thebonejournal.com/article … (13)00235-4/abstract

Related Stories

Hong Kong study shows lower survival rates after second hip fractures

December 15, 2013
Research presented today at the 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting showed that second hip fractures are more deadly than first hip fractures. Based in Hong Kong, the study evaluated the overall incidence of a second hip ...

Drinking more milk as a teenager does not lower risk of hip fracture later

November 18, 2013
Drinking more milk as a teenager apparently does not lower the risk of hip fracture as an older adult and instead appears to increase that risk for men, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics.

The deadly news about all osteoporotic fractures

November 27, 2013
It is well known that hip and vertebral fractures increase the risk of premature death. Until now, little has been known about the clinical impact of non-hip, non-vertebral fractures – so new Australian research showing ...

Wrist fracture significantly raises risk of hip fracture

December 13, 2013
A new study presented today at the IOF Regionals 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Hong Kong supports widespread evidence that individuals who have suffered a fracture are at significantly increased risk of subsequent ...

Researchers find that drinking fluoridated water gives no additional risks for hip fractures

October 1, 2013
Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a paper titled "Estimated Drinking Water Fluoride Exposure and Risk of Hip Fracture: A Cohort Study." In this study a team of researchers, ...

Undiagnosed neurological disorders may cause falls and hip fractures in the elderly

February 9, 2012
Hip fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. Cervical myelopathy is a common neurological condition that can diminish balance and coordination.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.