What vitamins and minerals help prevent and manage osteoporosis?
Our bone strength and density is largely dependent on how much calcium and other minerals they contain. In osteoporosis, the body loses these minerals more quickly than the body can replace them, causing a loss of bone mass.1 It is important you obtain enough of the nutrients that are necessary to maintain bone health to prevent and/or manage osteoporosis.
Calcium is a major structural element of bones and teeth and is essential for building and maintaining bone density. 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and around 1% is found in the blood and other bodily fluids where it is used for vital body functions such as muscle contraction and blood vessel relaxation and constriction. If you do not consume enough dietary calcium, the body will withdraw it from its bone reserves for use in other parts of the body.2
Adequate calcium is critical in reducing the rate of bone loss associated with ageing and may be of assistance in the prevention and/or treatment of osteoporosis. Calcium does not work alone; several nutrients influence the absorption and retention of calcium and may affect its levels in the body.3
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and use of calcium in the body, which helps to form and maintain strong healthy bones. Vitamin D also helps preserve muscle strength and reduces the risk of falls in the elderly. The main source of vitamin D is from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, therefore if sunlight exposure is limited, a vitamin D supplement may be necessary to support bone health.
Vitamin K assists in the function of proteins that are important for bone development and influences the transportation of calcium in the body. Observational studies have found a relationship between vitamin K and the development of osteoporosis.4 Both post-menopausal women and the elderly have additional vitamin K requirements.
Similar to calcium, magnesium is an integral part of the structure of bones and teeth. Adequate magnesium is necessary to maintain normal blood calcium levels and is important for normal bone mineral density. Maintaining a sufficient dietary intake of magnesium is vital for bone health, especially during and after menopause.
Boron is an essential mineral that the body needs in very small amounts. It plays a role in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus metabolism, and therefore assists in maintaining normal bone.
Manganese is essential for normal bone structure and necessary for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and joints. Adequate manganese may help maintain bone density.
Along with calcium and magnesium, phosphorus is a major component of bone and helps give your bones their strength and structure. Phosphorus is found in most food sources and deficiencies are uncommon.5