Although most of the media attention focuses on calcium, it actually plays a relatively small role in bone density (see Osteoporosis). This recent study explores the role of magnesium and zinc in having strong bones.
In this study involving postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (n=40), osteopenia (n=40), or normal bone mineral density (n=40), results indicate significantly lower serum magnesium and zinc status in osteoporotic women, compared to osteopenic and normal women. Serum concentrations of magnesium, zinc and copper were measured in the participants. Mean concentrations of magnesium and zinc were significantly lower in osteoporotic women than in both osteopenic and normal women. Additionally, mean concentrations of magnesium and zinc were significantly lower in osteopenic women than in normal women. However, no significant differences in mean concentrations of serum copper were observed between the three groups. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, "The clinical significance of these changes needs further elucidation, but trace element supplementation, especially with magnesium and zinc and perhaps copper, may have beneficial effects on bone density."
"Magnesium, zinc and copper status in osteoporotic, osteopenic and normal post-menopausal women," Mutlu M, Argun M, et al, J Int Med Res, 2007; 35(5): 692-5.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.