The human body houses 206 sizeable bones and it’s important to keep them in top health for as long as possible. Here are 7 supplements that are vital for building and maintaining strong, healthy bones.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D top the list of necessary nutrients. Calcium is needed to build bone tissue, with the skeleton home to 99% of the body’s calcium, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. But keeping our need for balance in mind (both figuratively and literally so we don’t fall and break bones), there are a number of other nutrients that we need for good bone health. They are:
Osteoporosis Australia says vitamin K is important for maintaining bone strength. Recent research has indicated that vitamin K2 in particular is beneficial. You’ll find it in meat, eggs and dairy foods, especially fermented products such as cheese and yoghurt. Vitamin K2 levels are particularly high in a fermented soybean product known as natto.
Magnesium is crucial to every organ. In relation to bone health, magnesium not only interacts with calcium itself but with vitamin D, converting it into its active form to help absorb calcium. Sources of magnesium include green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and unrefined grains.
Well known for its role in healing, zinc is also essential to calcium absorption and bone repair. Sources of zinc include lean red meat, poultry, whole grain cereals, pulses and legumes. Zinc is best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains protein.
Research from the University of Surrey found potassium salts – which are plentiful in fruit and vegetables – reduce bone resorption, the process by which bone is broken down, therefore increasing their strength. The study also revealed that a high intake of potassium salts significantly reduces the excretion of calcium and acid in urine.
There has been much debate about protein and bone health over the years but it seems, once again, balance is the name of the game. Some studies suggest too much animal protein causes an excess loss of calcium through urinary excretion, but it is also clear that protein is integral to the health of our bones and organs. The solution? A moderate consumption of protein with adequate levels of other minerals and nutrients.