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Health News of Monday, 6 May 2013

Source: AAP News

Nuts as important as milk for healthy bones in kids

Nuts and other foods high in magnesium, like salmon, could be just as important as calcium-rich foods in building strong bones in children, according to research presented on Sunday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones. One of these appears to be magnesium,” said lead author Steve A. Abrams M.D., FAAP, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.”

Researchers recruited 63 healthy children ages 4 to 8 years old who were not taking any multivitamins or minerals to participate in the study. Children were hospitalised overnight twice so their calcium and magnesium levels could be measured.

Results showed that the amounts of magnesium consumed and absorbed were key predictors of how much bone children had. Dietary calcium intake, however, was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.

“We believe it is important for children to have a balanced, healthy diet with good sources of minerals, including both calcium and magnesium,” Dr. Abrams concluded.

Magnesium is found in nuts, salmon, cocoa powder, rice, wheat and oats.