Exercise and Health Laboratory, Faculty Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, 1499-002 Cruz-Quebrada, Portugal, Physiology and Biochemistry Laboratory, Faculty Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, 1499-002 Cruz-Quebrada, Portugal, CIPER - Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Human Performance, Faculty Human Kinetics, Technical University of Lisbon, Estrada da Costa, 1499-002 Cruz-Quebrada, Portugal
Magnesium (Mg) deficiency has been associated with bone disorders. Physical activity is also crucial for bone mineralization. Bone mass loss has been observed to be accelerated in subjects with low Mg intake. We aim to understand if Mg intake mediates the association between bone mineral density (BMD) and lean soft tissue (LST) in elite swimmers. Seventeen elite swimmers (eight males; nine females) were evaluated. Bone mineral content, BMD, LST, and fat mass were assessed using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Energy and nutrient intake were assessed during a seven-day period and analyzed with Food Processor SQL. Males presented lower values than the normative data for BMD. Mg, phosphorus (P) and vitamin D intake were significantly lower than the recommended daily allowance. A linear regression model demonstrated a significant association between LST and BMD. When Mg intake was included, we observed that this was a significant, independent predictor of BMD, with a significant increase of 24% in the R
2 of the initial predictive model. When adjusted for energy, vitamin D, calcium, and P intake, Mg remained a significant predictor of BMD. In conclusion, young athletes engaged in low impact sports, should pay special attention to Mg intake, given its potential role in bone mineral mass acquisition during growth.