Your bones support your body, allow you to move, and protect your organs from injury. Because the structure of bone changes as a normal part of aging, maintaining bone health is essential. Diet is one of the most important components of any bone health routine, but there is no one ‘magic’ nutrient. There are, however, five essential nutrients your daily routine should include for optimal bone health and strength.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it is essential for bone health as well as cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous system function. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30, at which point the body replaces about as much bone as it loses.
It is important to be proactive about maintaining bone health because it is easier to prevent the deterioration of bone health than to build new bone. By maintaining adequate calcium levels, you can help support healthy bone density at any age.
We must get calcium through our diet because the human body does not contain enough calcium to function independently. Good sources of calcium include:
♦ Dairy products
♦ Leafy green vegetables
♦ Calcium-fortified foods
It is important to note that while whole milk dairy products contain highly bioavailable forms of calcium, they are also high in saturated fats, so you should take care with these food items.
You can also get calcium through supplements to ensure you get the recommended daily intake, which is 1,000 milligrams per day for adult men and women and 1,200 milligrams per day for women over the age of 50.
2. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is part of a family of fat-soluble vitamins that the body needs for proper blood clotting, bone metabolism, and heart health. Compared to other members of the vitamin K family, vitamin K2 is more readily absorbed and stays in the blood longer, allowing for more efficient and widespread use in the body.
Your skeletal system remodels itself every eight to twelve years, replacing older bone cells with newer ones. This process involves stimulation and inhibition of vitamin K2-dependent proteins on both osteoblasts and osteoclasts, specialized bone cells, to support bone formation and suppress bone resorption.
When paired with vitamin D3, you get additional bone health benefits. Vitamin K2 helps to release calcium that may begin to accumulate along arterial walls, which vitamin D3 then transports to places where it can be used, such as into the bone. For optimal bone health, it is recommended to pair vitamin D3 with MenaQ7™, as formulated in OsteoMD®.
Vitamin K2, when taken at the clinically effective dose of 180 mcg, is considered safe for consumption. You can get this through supplements or add more vitamin K2-rich foods to your diet, such as beef, chicken, egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, fermented foods, and dairy products, especially hard cheeses.
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a form of vitamin D naturally found in animals and is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. This essential vitamin helps promote calcium absorption from food and directs it onto the bone for proper skeletal mineralization and bone density support.
Beyond bone health, vitamin D3 helps support healthy muscle and heart function. It also activates key peptides responsible for healthy lung tissue and promotes the function of immune cells that help defend against environmental threats.
The daily recommended intake for vitamin D3 is 600 IU (international units) for adults up to age 70 and 800 IU for those over 70. You can get vitamin D3 from fatty fish like trout, salmon, and tuna, as well as beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms. You can also take a highly-bioavailable supplement like 1MD Nutrition’s D3 to ensure your bones get all the nutrients they need.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in immune system health and the production of blood vessels, cartilage, and muscle. It is also essential for the formation of collagen, the foundation upon which bone mineralization is built on. With proper levels of vitamin C, you can promote and maintain healthy bone density.
Your body is not able to produce vitamin C, so it must get it from your diet. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, it is not stored in the body, so it must be consumed each day. This means some people may not have sufficient amounts, but a supplement can help maintain healthy levels.
The daily recommended intake for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women. If you are specifically looking to promote bone density, the high vitamin C content in a Cissus quadrangularis extract works alongside vitamins D3 and K2 to promote optimal bone health.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It has a fiber-like structure that makes connective tissue, essentially providing strength and holding your body together. In bone, collagen represents more than 90% of the organic matrix.
Collagen is secreted by various cells, but its production begins to slow as part of normal aging. Given that your bones are made mostly of collagen, it is important to maintain collagen for healthy bone structure and strength. The daily recommended intake for collagen is between 2.5 to 15 g per day for adults.
There are several high-protein foods that contain the amino acids (glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline) that make collagen. These include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, and soy. You can also support collagen production with nutrients like zinc, found in shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vitamin C.
With some exceptions, a balanced diet provides adequate nutrients for most people. However, life can get in the way, and you don’t want your bones to miss out on the essential nutrients they need.
With 1MD Nutrition’s OsteoMD®, you can help build and maintain strong, healthy bones and promote long-term skeletal strength. This doctor-formulated bone health supplement features clinically-studied ingredients, including:
♦ MenaQ7™: The only clinically-studied form of vitamin K2 available on the market to support healthy bone formation.
♦ Calzbone®: A patented, standardized extract of Cissus quadrangularis that supports the bone-formation process.
♦ Calcium Hydroxyapatite: A bioavailable, whole mineral form of calcium, the substance on which bone cells build bone.
♦ Vitamin D3: To support bone mineralization and proper calcium absorption
Nutrition is one of the most important factors in the promotion of bone health, along with regular exercise, everyday stress management, and healthy weight management. The best way to meet the nutritional needs of your bones is with a balanced diet that includes these essential nutrients. And, when you need a little something extra, 1MD Nutrition’s OsteoMD® has you covered.
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg is dual board-certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center.