Although fragility fractures, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and frailty are becoming more prevalent in our aging society the treatment options are limited and preventative strategies are needed. Despite magnesium being integral to bone and muscle physiology, the relationship between dietary magnesium and skeletal muscle and bone health has not been investigated concurrently to date. We analysed cross-sectional associations between dietary magnesium and skeletal muscle mass (as fat free mass-FFM), grip strength, and bone density (BMD) in 156,575 men and women aged 39-72 years from the UK Biobank cohort. FFM was measured with bioelectrical impedance and was expressed as the percentage of body weight (FFM%) or as divided by body mass index (FFMBMI). Adjusted mean grip strength, FFM%, FFMBMI, and BMD were calculated according to quintiles of dietary magnesium, while correcting for covariates. Significant inter-quintile differences across intakes of magnesium existed in men and women, respectively, of 1.1% and 2.4% for grip strength, 3.0% and 3.6% for FFM%, 5.1% and 5.5% for FFMBMI, and 2.9% and 0.9% for BMD. These associations are as great or greater than annual measured losses of these musculoskeletal outcomes, indicating potential clinical significance. Our study suggests that dietary magnesium may play a role in musculoskeletal health and has relevance for population prevention strategies for sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures.
Keywords: aging; bone mineral density; grip strength; magnesium; physical function; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle.