Surprisingly, in Australia most self-reported incidents of injured or broken bones have been from those under 75 years of age (2). This statistic underlines the importance of taking care of your bone health as early as possible.
Bones, alongside muscles and joints, provide structure to the body and support bodily movement (1). They also protect internal organs from external forces. Bone marrow, which is found inside the bones, contains cells that produce red and white blood cells.
You can get a headstart on caring for your bones by exercising regularly and through proper nutrition as well as a well-balanced diet. Daily supplements can also assist in providing additional nutrients for the body to maintain and support bone health when paired alongside a healthy diet.
With that, here are some tips you can put into practice when assembling daily vitamins for healthy bones.
Know the nutrients that support bone health
By knowing how nutrients interact with the body, it can be easier to understand which can help support and maintain bone health. Some of the nutrients to add to your daily vitamins to keep the bones stronger are magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and D, and cranberry.
Magnesium is essential for muscles, nerves, blood sugar regulation, and for bones to function properly. It also supports bone health by playing a role in the structural development of bones (3).
More than half of magnesium in the body is found in the bones (4). Magnesium is particularly important in keeping bone density high, especially among older women who are more prone to bone-related conditions. Having a higher bone density reduces the risk of such injuries as well as illnesses (6, 7).
As the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is found mostly in the bones and teeth. It’s also important for bone structure, cell signaling, stabilisation of protein, and enzymes for different bodily functions (8).
It supports and maintains bone health and strength through bone remodeling that helps in bone growth, damage repair, and sustains serum calcium levels (9).
Higher consumption of calcium can help to maintain bone density, which reduces the possibility of bone injuries and illnesses, especially among older people (10, 11).
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is mostly sourced through food as the body is not able to produce it (12). It’s used for the synthesis of collagen as well as other enzymes and is also known as an antioxidant that prevents cell damage (13).
Supplementation with vitamin C can help maintain bone health though the prevention of bone loss (14). A study also shows that through supplementation, patients have been seen with significantly faster bone healing compared to patients without vitamin C supplements (15). It’s also connected closely to collagen where their link enables bones to be stronger when vitamin C intake is increased (16).
Vitamin D is popularly known for being sourced from the body’s reaction with sunlight. It helps calcium through absorption and maintenance of serum calcium and phosphate levels for normal bone mineralisation (17). It’s also important for bone growth and repair, and also prevents bone weakness and brittleness with the help of calcium (17).
Like most bone health nutrients, vitamin D increases bone mineral density which reduces the risk of weak bones in later life (17). It also prevents bone injury by making bones stronger and its effects on muscle function (18). Vitamin D deficiency can impact the formation of bone structure and shape as there’s very little of it to regulate calcium and phosphate (19).
Fruits are a refreshing way to introduce nutrients in the body. Cranberries are a good source of both vitamin C and calcium which support bone health through bone healing (20). Its vitamin C content helps in preventing bone loss (14), while calcium aids in lowering the risk of osteoporosis (11). Cranberry can also be consumed in supplement form where it supports bone health by maintaining bone mineralisation.
Find food sources of those nutrients
Where possible, it is always best to maintain your intake of vitamins and nutrients through dietary choices. Aside from supplementation, knowing which food sources can help you achieve your recommended daily intake of nutrients is very beneficial. Here are some top food sources for nutrients that can help support bone health:
Magnesium is mostly found in seeds and nuts such as chia seeds, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. It can also be sourced from grains, beans, and cereals through oatmeal, black beans, rice, and bread. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommends at least 400 mg/day of magnesium for grown adults (21).
Some of the foods that contain calcium are daily products such as milk, cheese, and dairy (22). Other foods like cranberry, sardines, and tuna with bones, tofu and soybeans, and spinach are also great high-calcium food options. The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommends 1,000 mg/day of calcium for Australians to consume (22).
Fruits and vegetables can be good sources of vitamin C, including oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, and berries like cranberries, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and brussels sprouts.The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council recommends at least 45 mg/day of vitamin C is included in a normal diet (23).
As little as 5 micrograms a day of vitamin D is what is recommended for intake (24). Adequate vitamin D levels can be obtained through appropriate and healthy sun exposure, although overexposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. There are food sources of vitamin D including fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Fortified milk and cereals can also be good sources of vitamin D.
Know what your body needs
The body lets you know if it lacks certain nutrients for it to function. Signs like fatigue and weight loss can be indicators of a nutrient shortfall (25). If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to speak with your healthcare practitioner to determine which vitamins you need, how you can improve bone health as well as ensure you do not have a more serious health condition.
Create your own vitamin pack
Once you understand which vitamins and minerals are needed to support bone health, the next step is to incorporate them into your diet or consider supplementation. Food sources are still the best but for instances where the recommended daily intake cannot be met, supplements can support your daily intake of nutrients to support bone health.
Vitable has made crafting your own daily vitamins easier with its custom vitamin packs. You can choose from a selection of vitamins that not only supports your bone health but other areas of health. It is the preferred create-your-own vitamin subscriptions in Australia that offers a wide selection of minerals to fit your lifestyle. We’ll even have your vitamin packs delivered right to your doorstep with our vitamin delivery services!
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- "Bones". Better Health Channel. Published on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/bones. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Osteoporosis". Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Published Mar. 15, 2021 on https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/osteoporosis/contents/what-is-osteoporosis. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- “Magnesium”, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., and Kisters, K. “Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy”. Nutrients. Published Sep. 23, 2015 on https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/9/5388. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Tucker K. "Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition". Current osteoporosis reports. Published Dec. 2009 on https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11914-009-0020-5. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Mahdavi-Roshan, M., Ebrahimi, M., and Ebrahimi, A. "Copper, magnesium, zinc and calcium status in osteopenic and osteoporotic post-menopausal women". Clinical cases in mineral and bone metabolism : the official journal of the Italian Society of Osteoporosis, Mineral Metabolism, and Skeletal Diseases. Published Jun. 1, 2015 on https://dx.doi.org/10.11138%2Fccmbm%2F2015.12.1.018. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- “Magnesium”, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Higdon, J., Drake, V., Delage, B., and Weaver, C. “Calcium”. Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute. Published Dec. 2018 on https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/calcium. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- “Calcium”, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Dawson-Hughes, B., Harris, S., Krall, E., and Dallal, G. "Effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone density in men and women 65 years of age or older". The New England Journal of medicine. Published Sep. 4, 1997 on https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199709043371003. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Osteoporosis". Better Health Channel. Published on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/osteoporosis. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Higdon, J., Drake, V., Delage, B., Angelo, A., Carr, A. and Michaels, A. “Vitamin C”. Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute. Published Dec. 2018 on https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- “Vitamin C”, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Chin, K. and Ima-Nirwana, S. "Vitamin C and Bone Health: Evidence from Cell, Animal and Human Studies". Current drug targets. Published 2018 on https://www.eurekaselect.com/134717/article. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- DePhillipo, N., Aman, Z., Kennedy, M., Begley, J., Moatshe, G. and LaPrade, R. "Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review". Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine. Published Oct. 2018 on https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2325967118804544. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Viguet-Carrin, S., Garnero, P., and Delmas, P. "The role of collagen in bone strength". Osteoporosis international. Published Dec. 2005 on https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00198-005-2035-9. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- “Vitamin D”, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Laird, E., Ward, M., McSorley, E., Strain, J. and Wallace, J. “Vitamin D and bone health: potential mechanisms”. Nutrients. Published Jul. 5, 2010 on https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/2/7/693. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- Higdon, J., Drake, V., Delage, B., and Gombart, A. “Vitamin D”. Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute. Published Oct. 2017 on https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-D. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- DePhillipo, N., Aman, Z., Kennedy, M., Begley, J., Moatshe, G., and LaPrade, R. "Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review". Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine. Published Oct. 2018 on https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2325967118804544. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Magnesium". Australian National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrient Reference Values. Published Sep. 22, 2017 on https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/magnesium. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Calcium". Australian National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrient Reference Values. Published Sep. 9, 2014 on https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Vitamin C". Australian National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrient Reference Values. Published Sep. 9, 2014 on https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-c. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Vitamin D". Australian National Health and Medical Research Council: Nutrient Reference Values. Published Sep. 9, 2014 on https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-d. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021
- "Malnutrition". National Health Services. Published Feb. 7, 2021 on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/malnutrition/. Accessed Oct. 26, 2021