Nutrition for Bone Health
Did you know bone is a living tissue? It is being remodeled all the time, with old bone being reabsorbed and new bone being formed1. This happens throughout your lifetime. Interestingly, it’s believed that bone mineral density is at its highest between 25 and 35 years of age, which is why bone health is not just important in the elderly but also in the young1.
It is widely known that getting enough calcium is important for building healthy bones and teeth. This is why healthcare practitioners will often prescribe calcium supplements to patients who are experiencing, or who are at risk of developing, low bone density. Your bone density is simply a measurement that shows how much calcium and other minerals are present in a section of bone1.
Because our bodies don’t make calcium, it’s important to get it from dietary sources or supplementation to help maintain a healthy bone mass. While age is one factor that affects bone density, vitamin D levels is another1. It is believed that many people only absorb 10-15 % of the calcium they eat in their diet1. when your body contains sufficient amounts of vitamin D, it can better absorb calcium1. This makes getting enough vitamin D important for maintaining healthy bones and teeth1.
Similarly, another important mineral when it comes to bone health is Magnesium. It works with calcium helping it move in and out of cells2. It also plays a role in the formation of bones. In fact, 50-60% of the magnesium in the body is found in our bones2.
Calcium, vitamin D and magnesium have gone hand in hand for many years. Another interesting nutrient when it comes to bone health is vitamin K. Like vitamin D, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and refers to a group of compounds that include vitamin K1 and vitamin K23. Vitamin K is believed to help in the maintenance of bones3.
How can you increase your intake of these nutrients?
Dietary sources of magnesium include a wide variety of plant based foods such as vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as meats such as chicken2. Calcium can be found in dairy-based products including milk, cheese and yogurt as well as vegetables like kale and broccoli2. Vitamin K is present in green leafy vegetables and some fruits, which are a primary source of vitamin K. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods, cheese or meats as well as being produced by bacteria in the gut3.
All of these nutrients are also available combined in a natural health product form. Whether you choose to increase vitamin and mineral intake through your diet or by taking supplements, it’s never too late to take charge of your bone health.
As always, consult your health care practitioner before taking any natural health product.
- Wisse, B. Calcium and bones. 2016 [cited 2017 May 3rd ]; Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002062.htm.
- NIH. Magnesium - Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 2016 [cited 2017 May 30th 2017]; Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/.
- NIH. Vitamin K - Fact sheet for Health Professionals. 2016 [cited 2017 May 2nd 2017]; Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/.
- NIH. Calcium 2016 [cited 2017 May 30 ]; Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/.