Magnesium-spiked drinking water has been shown to protect against hip fractures, according to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Researchers who tracked hip fracture rates among individuals living in various regions of Norway — where levels of magnesium and calcium in drinking water vary widely — found that men and women living in areas with relatively high concentrations of magnesium had stronger bones and lower rates of hip fractures. The findings held true regardless of the levels of calcium in the water.
The researchers said the findings suggest 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.
"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," said Cecilie Dahl, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
"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."
To reach their conclusions, the researchers tracked approximately 700,000 men and women over seven years and recorded about 5,500 hip fractures among men and 13,600 hip fractures for women in this period.
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