More Magnesium, Less Arthritis

Osteoarthritis risk was associated with magnesium intake

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) What you put in your body can affect your risk of disease, even your risk of osteoarthritis. If you're trying to prevent this "wear-and-tear" type of arthritis, you may want to eat more almonds and spinach.

Eating more magnesium - a mineral found in many green vegetables, beans and nuts - it may lower the risk of knee osteoarthritis.

"Eat a balanced diet to stay healthy."

Your body needs magnesium to do many things. Your muscles and nerves need the mineral to keep working normally. Your heart needs it to have a steady rhythm. Magnesium also keeps your bones strong.

If magnesium keeps your bones strong, then maybe it protects you the wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis.

In a recent study, Ka He, MD, MPH, ScD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues asked if magnesium intake was associated with the risk of osteoarthritis. In other words, does eating more magnesium protect against osteoarthritis?

They found that a higher magnesium intake was associated with a lower risk of knee osteoarthritis in whites, but not in African Americans.

Compared to people who ate the least amount of magnesium, those who ate a medium amount of magnesium had about half the risk (odds ratio 0.52) of knee osteoarthritis.

The risk of knee osteoarthritis did not continue to go down for those who ate even higher amounts of magnesium.

That is, the arthritis-related benefits of eating more magnesium may stop at a certain point.

According to the authors, more research is needed to test this study's results and to find out why African Americans did not benefit from eating more magnesium.

The study included 2,112 participants. Of these, 766 (36.27 percent) developed knee osteoarthritis.

The research was funded by the CDC, National Institutes of Health, John A. Hartford Foundation, the University of North Carolina and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute among others.

The study was published August 27 in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 12, 2012
Last Updated:
September 14, 2012