Nuts More Critical Than Milk For Bone Growth

photo of various nuts in a bowl

Most of us grew up with our grandparents nagging us about drinking milk.  Heck, we used to drink a glass of milk with every meal — including dinner.  The idea was ingrained in our heads:  milk makes for strong bones.  It’s calcium-rich, and calcium is essential for good bone health especially in growing children.

New research conducted by the Pediatric Academic Societies is shedding new light on which nutrients are best for promoting strong bones, and it turns out calcium isn’t the only one.

Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and lead author of the study Steve Abrams said, ‘Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones and one of these appears to be magnesium.  Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.’

Should you increase your child’s nut intake?

It seems that magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, salmon and almonds may be just as crucial for bone growth in children as it is for adults.  Though prior to this study, there wasn’t enough evidence revealing how magnesium is related to bone mineral content in children.

Here are the specifics of the study from  the group of children participating in the study were hospitalized twice overnight so their calcium and magnesium levels could be tested.  They were fed foods containing the same amounts of calcium and magnesium the child typically ate at home.

In the hospital, a child’s levels of calcium and magnesium were measured using stable isotopes, a technique that gave each of them non-radioactive forms of magnesium and calcium.  After urine samples were collected, researchers measured the stable isotopes in the urine to determine how much calcium and magnesium was absorbed.  Finally, bone mineral content and density were measured using a special technique called ‘total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry’.

Magnesium rich foods.

The results showed that dietary calcium intake was not significantly linked to bone mineral content or density. However, the amounts of magnesium consumed and absorbed by the children were key indicators of how much bone they had.

Worried your children isn’t getting enough magnesium?  

Here’s a list of some other magnesium-rich foods.

Dr. Sam Sadati is the owner and practitioner of The Sadati Center of Aesthetic Dentistry in West Palm Beach and a leader in the world of cosmetic dentistry and smile design. He is the only accredited cosmetic dentist in all of South Florida and is one of only forty dentists in the world to receive an Accredited Fellow honor from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  Apart from creating beautiful smiles, Dr. Sadati enjoys photography, travel, and the opportunity to tell a good joke.  If you have a question or comment, dental-related or otherwise, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We always reply to our fans and followers!