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What Vitamin Makes Your Bones Strong

How Do I Get Enough Calcium

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Most of us get all the calcium we need through a balanced and varied diet. Sources include:

Dairy products


Fish such as sardines or pilchards

If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet and are considering taking a supplement, you should talk to your doctor first, especially if you have a medical condition.

Even if we’re getting enough calcium, a vitamin D deficiency can mean we don’t absorb enough to keep bones healthy.

Two Keys To Strong Bones: Calcium And Vitamin D

Image: memoriesarecaptured/Thinkstock

Although bone-weakening osteoporosis is quite common among older people, it isn’t an inevitable part of aging. There’s a lot you can do to shield your bones from this disease.

The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the highest bone density possible by your 30s and minimizing bone loss after that. But if you you’re already in midlife or beyond, there is still much you can do to preserve the bone you have and perhaps even to replace lost bone. Daily weight-bearing exercise, like walking, is the best medicine. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are two other critical strategies for keeping bones strong.


Calcium is an important nutrient for building bone and slowing the pace of bone loss. But it’s not a single magic bullet, and some scientists suggest that too much calcium or dairy products may be unhealthy. Keep in mind that in addition to calcium, there are other nutrients and foods that help keep your bones strong most importantly vitamin D, but also vitamin K.

How much calcium? The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1,000 milligrams a day for adults up through age 50 and 1,200 mg a day for people ages 51 and older, when bone loss accelerates. With age, the intestines absorb less calcium from the diet, and the kidneys seem to be less efficient at conserving calcium. As a result, your body can steal calcium from bone for a variety of important metabolic functions.

Vitamin D

Natural Ways To Build Healthy Bones

Building healthy bones is extremely important.

Minerals are incorporated into your bones during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass.

If not enough bone mass is created during this time or bone loss occurs later in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones that break easily .

Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age.

Here are 10 natural ways to build healthy bones.

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Food Is The Best Source Of Calcium

Doctors recommend that you get as much of your daily calcium needs as possible from food and use only low-dose supplements to make up any shortfall. Your body is better able to absorb calcium from food than it can from supplements. In fact, studies show that even though people who take calcium supplements have a higher average intake, those who get their calcium from food have stronger bones. Furthermore, using high-dose calcium supplements may increase your risk of kidney stones and heart disease.

Why Is There A New Focus On Vitamin D Today

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Recent research has stressed the importance of Vitamin D not just for good bone health, but also for possibly preventing chronic disease when we are older. Yet, many children today are not getting enough Vitamin D.

There are several reasons children today do not get enough Vitamin D. An important one is that very few foods contain substantial levels of the vitamin. Even the healthiest of diets will probably not provide a child with adequate Vitamin D.

Changes in lifestyle have also played a part. Several aspects of modern-day childhood impact Vitamin D intake:

  • Children today spend hours in front of a computer or a television, rather than playing outdoors.
  • Few children walk to school on a regular basis.
  • Many popular sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics, are indoor sports.
  • Milk intake by children has steadily decreased in favor of soda or juice.

Spending too much time indoors can affect the amount of Vitamin D children’s bodies make. Parents should apply sunscreen to their children when they play outside.

Children today spend a lot of time being indoors and inactive. It is well-documented that fitness levels among children are on the decline and obesity levels are rising. Children should have at least 35 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Without it, they cannot build healthy bodies .

If a healthy diet and playing outside will not provide children with enough Vitamin D, then how do we make sure they get it?

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Critical Nutrients For Bones: Calcium And Vitamin D

Calcium is a crucial building block of bone tissue. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and process calcium. Together, these two nutrients are the cornerstone of healthy bones.

The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 mg of calcium a day for most adults and 1,200 mg/day for women after menopause and men after 70. Milk and other dairy products are excellent natural sources of calcium. You’ll hit the mark by eating three servings of dairy products a day. Other good food sources of calcium include calcium-fortified orange juice, leafy green vegetables, and broccoli. If you don’t eat those foods regularly, talk to your doctor about calcium supplements.

Researchers believe that most Americans fall short on vitamin D, a critical nutrient. Your body makes it naturally when your skin is exposed to sun. “In many parts of the country, especially during the winter months, the sun is too weak to generate vitamin D,” says Zelman. Older people especially are at high risk of vitamin deficiency. The reason: the body becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D as we age.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in all ages and few foods contain vitamin D. Milk and some brands of yogurt are fortified with D. Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a 25D below 20 ng/ml and vitamin D insufficiency as a 25 D of 2129 ng/ml.


Avoiding A Low Calorie Diet

Super low calorie diets can lead to health problems, including bone density loss.

Before dieting, discuss calorie needs with a healthcare provider to determine a safe target number of calories to consume. Any diet should include a balance of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein plays an essential role in bone health and density, and a person should ensure that they have enough protein in their diet.

A involving about 144,000 postmenopausal participants found that those who ate an increased amount of protein saw a boost in overall bone density. Collectively, the participants who ate more protein also experienced fewer forearm fractures.

Talk with a doctor before significantly altering protein intake.

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New Chapter Calcium Supplement

This supplement contains the usual bone-supporting ingredients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D3. It is sourced from plants and is clinical-strength, so youre more likely to see results.

The slim tablets are straightforward to swallow and release slowly, decreasing the chance of stomach upset.

What Can I Do To Make My Bones Healthier

How to build strong bones and teeth. Which calcium is best?

It is never too early or too late to take care of your bones. The following steps can help you improve your bone health:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, and foods and drinks with added calcium. Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and milk with vitamin D. Some people may need to take nutritional supplements in order to get enough calcium and vitamin D. The charts below show how much calcium and vitamin D you need each day. Fruits and vegetables also contribute other nutrients that are important for bone health.

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Will I Need To Take Medicine For My Bones

There are medicines to help prevent and treat osteoporosis. These include bisphosphonates estrogen agonists/antagonists calcitonin parathyroid hormone estrogen therapy hormone therapy and a recently approved RANK ligand inhibitor. Your doctor may want you to take medicine if your bone density test shows that your bones are weak and that you have a good chance of breaking a bone in the future. Your doctor is more likely to order medicine if you have other health concerns that increase your risk for breaking a bone, such as a tendency to fall or a low body weight.

Maintain A Stable Healthy Weight

In addition to eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight can help support bone health.

For example, being underweight increases the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

This is especially the case in postmenopausal women who have lost the bone-protective effects of estrogen.

In fact, low body weight is the main factor contributing to reduced bone density and bone loss in this age group (

50 ).

While weight loss typically results in some bone loss, it is usually less pronounced in obese individuals than normal-weight individuals .

Overall, repeatedly losing and regaining weight appears particularly detrimental to bone health, as well as losing a large amount of weight in a short time.

One recent study found that bone loss during weight loss was not reversed when weight was regained, which suggests that repeated cycles of losing and gaining weight may lead to significant bone loss over a persons lifetime .

Maintaining a stable normal or slightly higher than normal weight is your best bet when it comes to protecting your bone health.


Being too thin or too heavy can negatively affect bone health. Furthermore, maintaining a stable weight, rather than repeatedly losing and regaining it, can help preserve bone density.

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Get Plenty Of Sleep Each Night

Researchers from Wisconsins Medical College found that the rats that were in their study ended up with less formation of bones when they did not have the right amount of sleep. A doctor involved in the study concluded that if humans did not have enough sleep on a regular basis, it resulted in a decrease in the density of the bones.


How Much Vitamin D Should You Supplement

Pin on Dietician Priya Mittal

To figure out how much vitamin D you need from a supplement, subtract the total amount of vitamin D you get each day from the recommended total daily amount for your age. For example, a 55-year-old woman who gets 400 IU of vitamin D from her calcium supplement should take between 400 and 600 additional IU of vitamin D to meet the 800 1,000 IU recommended for her age.

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Five Foods To Strengthen Bones And Joints

BIDMC Contributor

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone density. Many, however, have no symptoms until they suffer a bone fracture.

Bone disease is often preventable by getting enough calcium and vitamin D into your diet, says Kathryn Weatherford, RD, LDN, CNSC, a registered dietitian at BIDMC. Its important to be aware of your calcium and vitamin D intake to preserve bone strength as you age.

According to research, adequate vitamin D levels not only help with bone health, but also improve energy levels and muscle fatigue.

Who Should Take Supplements

If youre able to eat a healthy diet full of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you may get enough of the nutrients you need in your daily diet. However, when you have osteoporosis, your doctor will likely recommend supplementing your daily diet.

Other reasons you may need Calcium supplements:

  • You eat a vegan diet.
  • You are lactose intolerant.
  • You are taking corticosteroid medications on a long-term basis.
  • You have a digestive disease that may impact your bodys ability to absorb calcium, such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.
  • You are currently being treated for osteoporosis.

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Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D Or Calcium

Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be good for health but taking too much can pose negative effects. For example, research shows that too much calcium can lead to a heart attack or stroke in both men and women.

Without enough vitamin D to offset calcium and absorb it, that extra calcium will make its way into the arteries instead of the bones. Once in the arteries, it can cause blocks that threaten the heart and brain. Excess calcium has also been linked to muscle pain, abdominal pain, mood disorders, and kidney stones.

Vitamin D toxicity can occur when vitamin D levels in blood exceed 150 ng/mL. When this happens, the extra vitamin D will trigger extra calcium absorption, which leads to negative effects from the calcium.

Should You Take A Vitamin K Supplement

Five Things a Dietitian Eats for Strong Bones

Based on the connection between vitamin K and bone health, several studies looked at whether it makes sense for anyone, including people with osteoporosis or at risk for it, to take vitamin K supplements. So far, results have been mixed.

Some studies, many of them conducted in Japan, found that supplementation with vitamin K1 or vitamin K2 improved bone mineral density, and few studies showed a decreased risk of bone fractures. Some subsequent studies found that vitamin K supplementation had no effect on bone mineral density. Many of the studies conducted thus far are limited by flaws in the design or a small number of participants.

Evidence to support vitamin K supplementation is too preliminary and contradictory to make recommendations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not authorized a health claim.

There is evidence for some positive effect, and there are ongoing studies, says Dr. Deal.

Vitamin K supplements are relatively safe, and many people take them. People taking blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin , should not take vitamin K without consulting their doctor because vitamin K can reverse the effects of these drugs.

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.

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List Of The Best Vitamins For Bones And Joints People Should Make Use At Home

When it comes to getting strong bones, there are some vitamins and nutrients supporting your teeth and bone structure. These vitamins are important early in our life, but they may help when you are older as well. In the article today, I would like to reveal some of the essential vitamins for bones in details, so you should keep your head on the following heath facts and the important role of these vitamins for bone growth. The best vitamins for bones are:

7. Sodium and potassium

Foods For Healthy Bones

When it comes to building strong bones, there are two key nutrients: calcium and vitamin D. Calcium supports your bones and teeth structure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption and bone growth. These nutrients are important early in life, but they may also help as you age. If you develop osteoporosis, a disease characterized by brittle and breaking bones, getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D may slow the disease and prevent fractures.Adults up to age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 international units of vitamin D a day. Adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 IU of vitamin D. Get these nutrients by trying these 11 foods for healthy bones.

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Good Food Sources Of Calcium

Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, certain fish, oatmeal and other grains, tofu, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, sea vegetables and calcium-fortified foods such as cereals and orange juice.

Good food sources of calcium
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 415
Mozzarella, part skim, 1.5 ounces

Cheddar cheese, 1.5 ounces

Cottage cheese, , 8 ounces

Cheese, cream, regular, 1 tablespoon


Milk, reduced-fat , 8 ounces

Milk, whole , 8 ounces

Soymilk, calcium-fortified, 8 ounces

Ready-to-eat cereal, calcium-fortified, 1 cup 100-1,000
Sardines, canned in oil, with bones, 3 ounces

Salmon, pink, canned, solids with bone, 3 ounces

Tofu, firm, made with calcium sulfate, 1/2 cup

Tofu, soft, made with calcium sulfate, 1/2 cup

Turnip greens, fresh, boiled, 1/2 cup

Kale, raw, chopped, 1 cup

Kale, fresh, cooked, 1 cup

Chinese cabbage, bok choy, raw, shredded, 1 cup

Broccoli, raw, 1/2 cup

Source: National Institutes of Health

You Can Take The Following Steps To Promote Oral Health And Keep Your Bones Strong For Life

Top 11 natural ways to keep bones strong
  • Eat a healthy diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get 1000 to 1200 milligrams of calcium each day from calcium-rich foods and take a supplement only if needed.
  • Get 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D this usually requires a supplement.
  • Be active every day.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Take safety precautions to prevent falls and broken bones.
  • Take care of your teeth and gums
  • Brush your teeth and gums with a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use dental floss daily to clean between your teeth.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
  • If you wear dentures, keep them clean and be sure they fit well.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Regular professional care is important for everyone!
  • See your dentist if you have loose teeth, gum discomfort, loose-fitting dentures or pain in your teeth and mouth.
  • If you need to take, or are currently taking, bisphosphonate medication for osteoporosis, be sure to tell your dentist Bisphosphonates have been linked to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw . It is a rare complication in a patient with osteoporosis, but it is more common in patients with cancer who receive large doses.
  • For more information, visit the New York State Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program website at and The New York State Department of Health website

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