Supplements and Vitamins for Bone Health and Strength

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kevin Aister DO

Oct 11, 2020

Without proper nutrition, your bones can’t stay healthy. This is true for everyone at any age, from children to seniors. While you can get most of the nutrition you need for bone health from a balanced diet, we could all use a little help from time to time — especially later in life. That’s where supplementation can be useful. Here are some of the best vitamins for bone health.

Vitamin D and bone health

Vitamin D is one of the most crucial bone strength vitamins. Your body can produce vitamin D only if your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. In colder climates, you might not get sufficient sunlight to produce enough vitamin D. Bone health may suffer because of this.

Magnesium

Your body needs magnesium for a variety of essential systems, including your bones. Without magnesium, your body can’t make use of the calcium in your diet. Dark green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and some fish, including halibut, are good magnesium sources for bone health.

Potassium

Although it’s a reasonably common compound in foods, potassium may be lacking in some diets. Along with magnesium and calcium, potassium is essential for bone health. You can obtain potassium from many of the same foods as magnesium.

Calcium

When you think of bone health, you immediately think of calcium. While many people turn to dairy foods for calcium, these may not be the best source later in life. Cow’s milk, cheese, and other dairy foods can be indigestible, meaning that the calcium is less available to your body.

Instead, you can look at other ways to provide your body with the calcium it needs to maintain good bone density. Make sure you eat lots of leafy greens and dark green vegetables, as these are high in calcium and other minerals. You can also buy foods and beverages enriched with calcium for bone health, such as some brands of orange juice and vitamin water.

Boron

Boron is an important micronutrient that you might not find in most combination supplements. Most balanced diets will naturally provide enough boron, but a small additional dose may be a good idea for some people. If you want to increase your boron intake, try to eat more foods that contain this trace element. Examples are apples, pears, apricots, and some nuts.

Silicon

Silicon can help build stronger bones, particularly in older women. Silicon is also involved in keeping your ligaments and tendons healthy. Because it’s a trace element, you don’t need it very much. Some people may benefit from a small amount of additional silicon, particularly those with osteoporosis.

Vitamin C

This important antioxidant is required by all the tissues of your body. You can’t build healthy bones without Vitamin C, and it can be found in various fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is important because it allows calcium to bind with the material of your bones. Be careful not to take too much, however.

Collagen for bone health

Collagen supplements have been suggested for bone health. Various systems use this material in the body, such as bones and skin.

Choosing supplements

When choosing a supplement, it’s crucial to ensure that you make sure to get all the essential vitamins and minerals that will allow your body to use calcium and other nutrients effectively. A combination supplement is a good idea but be careful not to take too much of any of the constituents.

You may require supplementation in addition to a balanced diet if you fall into one of the following categories:

    • Your doctor is treating you for osteoporosis.
    • You suffer from digestive issues that may stop your body from absorbing calcium effectively, such as celiac disease.
    • You’re vegan or eat a mostly plant-based diet.
    • You’re lactose intolerant and avoid dairy products.
    • You’re on long-term corticosteroids.

Talk to your doctor before taking minerals or vitamins for bone strength. A medical professional can help determine if dietary changes or supplementation might be useful for you. An oversupply of some nutrients can cause additional health problems. Bone health supplements may also interfere with your medication.

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