Low Magnesium May Be Linked To Increased Risk of Hip Fractures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Setor Kunutsor Ba(Legon), MBChB(Legon), MA(Cantab), PhD(Cantab) Research Fellow Musculoskeletal Research Unit University of Bristol

Dr. Kunutsor

Dr Setor Kunutsor Ba(Legon), MBChB(Legon), MA(Cantab), PhD(Cantab)
Research Fellow
Musculoskeletal Research Unit
University of Bristol

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Bone fractures are one of the leading causes of disability and ill health especially among the ageing population and are a burden to health care systems. There is established evidence that calcium and vitamin D play an important role in bone health.

Magnesium is an essential trace element, being the second most abundant intracellular cation after potassium and the fourth most abundant cation in the body. It serves several important functions in the body, which include protein synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, enzymatic reactions, and has also been shown to be cardio-protective. It is also an important component of bone, with majority (67 percent) of total body magnesium known to be found in the bone tissue. There have been suggestions from both human and animal experiments that magnesium may have a beneficial effect on bone health; however, its relationship with fractures is not very certain.

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Does Magnesium Help Prevent Cerebral Palsy?

Lex W Doyle MD BS MSc FRACP Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology The Royal Women’s Hospital Parkville, Victoria, AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lex W Doyle MD BS MSc FRACP
Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
The Royal Women’s Hospital
Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Doyle: From collectively pooling data from five large trials carried out around the world over the past 20 years, we know that magnesium sulfate given under strict medical protocols in hospital to women threatening to deliver preterm reduces the risk of cerebral  palsy in their children in early childhood.  Following  from this knowledge, magnesium sulfate is now given routinely to women, under strict medical conditions, who are threatening to deliver very early in Australia, and in other parts of the world, to try to prevent cerebral palsy in their child.  What we do not know is if magnesium sulfate used this way has any longer-term effects on the brain or on other important outcomes.

One of the initial studies that contributed to the overall evidence about cerebral palsy was carried out in Australia and New Zealand and completed more than 10 years ago.  Over 1000 women and their babies were enrolled in that study and although the rate of cerebral palsy was not substantially reduced by magnesium sulfate in our study, we showed that there were fewer children at 2 years of age who were not walking in the group whose mothers were given magnesium compared with those whose mothers were given placebo.  With this knowledge, and given the unknown longer-term benefits or risks, we re-evaluated the children from our study at school-age, between 6-11 years of age.  We thoroughly evaluated their brain function, including movement and co-ordination, thinking ability, behaviour, and school progress, as well as general health and well-being.  The basic message from our longer-term study is that magnesium sulfate, as used in our trial, does not have any substantial benefits or harms on brain or cognitive function, or any other outcome at school age.
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