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Low Magnesium Intake, Worse Knee OA Pain Linked

Osteoarthritis Cartilage; ePub 2018 Feb 15; Shmagel, et al

Lower magnesium intake was associated with worse pain and function in knee osteoarthritis (OA), especially among individuals with low fiber intake, a recent study found. Researchers investigated the associations between knee pain/function metrics and magnesium intake from food and supplements in 2,548 Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort participants with prevalent radiographic knee OA (Kellgren-Lawrence score ≥2). Magnesium intake was assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire at baseline. They found:

  • Among participants with baseline radiographic knee OA, the mean total magnesium intake was 309.9 mg/day (SD 132.6) for men, and 287.9 mg/day (SD 118.1) for women, with 68% of men and 44% of women below the estimated average requirement.
  • Subjects with lower magnesium intake had worse knee OA pain and function scores, throughout the 48 months.
  • After adjustment for age, sex, race, BMI, calorie intake, fiber intake, pain medication use, physical activity, renal insufficiency, smoking, and alcohol use, lower magnesium intake remained associated with worse pain and function outcomes.
  • The association between magnesium intake and knee pain and function scores was strongest among subjects with low fiber intake.


Shmagel A, Onizuka N, Langsetmo L, et al. Low magnesium intake is associated with increased knee pain in subjects with radiographic knee osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. [Published online ahead of print February 15, 2018]. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2018.02.002.

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