Which Are The Best Supplements For Bone Health?

supplements for bone health

Strong bones form the foundation of a stable framework for your body. It is important to maintain optimum bone health to be able to live a physically active life. 

Bone health is also important to avoid diseases that can occur due to the loss of bone mineral density. Read on to know the best supplements for bone health you can use.

Top 8 supplements for bone health women can use

1. Calcium

Calcium is the building block of bones. It is the most important mineral the body needs to form the bone mass. The requirement of calcium for adult women is about 1000 to 1200 mg per day. [1]

The daily requirement may be higher in menopausal women who experience faster bone loss due to the hormonal changes that put them at risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. [2]

The use of calcium supplements would promote the bone formation processes in menopausal women and make their bones stronger and denser. [3]

Women can start using calcium supplements in a lower dose initially, especially if they are prone to develop frequent gastric upsets. They may increase the dose gradually as the stomach gets used to it.  

Also, for adults, the maximum limit for calcium intake is 2000 mg. Using a very high dose of calcium supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones. Women should keep in mind these factors and use calcium supplements as recommended to improve bone health. [4]

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2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a vital role in improving bone health. It facilitates the absorption of calcium in the gut and increases its availability to the bones. Vitamin D is also needed for the physiological processes involved in bone growth, development, and remodeling.

Hence, it is advisable to use calcium supplements in combination with vitamin D to derive better results. [5]

3. Vitamin K

Vitamin K, particularly vitamin K2, is essential for bone health. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) can act as a coenzyme for certain proteins that are required in bone formation and remodeling processes. 

Vitamin K also helps calcium to bind to the bones more efficiently and inhibits the loss of minerals from the bones.

Research studies have shown that vitamin K2 supplements can also support bone health in menopausal and postmenopausal women and reduce their risk of osteoporosis. [6]

The recommended dosage of vitamin K is 150 micrograms per day. However, it should be noted that vitamin K can interfere with the action of blood-thinning drugs and increase the risk of bleeding. 

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is another mineral that is essential for maintaining optimum bone health. Though it is found in natural food sources such as whole grains, green vegetables, and nuts, the use of supplements may be essential for patients who suffer from poor absorption of food in the intestine. 

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The recommended daily dose of magnesium is about 300 to 500 mg. The requirement may be higher in people whose diet comprises mainly of processed foods or ready meals that are known to have a poor nutritional profile.  

5. Herbal supplements

Herbal supplements that possess natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties could help to support bone health. 

For example; the use of supplements containing Herba epimedii, Fructus psoraleae, and Fructus ligustri lucidi has been found to improve bone mineral density. [7]

These herbs produce a bone-protective effect, particularly in postmenopausal women, by creating an estrogen-like effect.

The use of black cohosh is recommended for women who suffer from osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of black cohosh would reduce damage to the bones and joints and slow down the progress of osteoarthritis. [8]

Similarly, fruits and herbs containing vitamin C such as amla (Indian gooseberry), and oranges may produce antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects and reduce the risk of joint damage due to rheumatoid arthritis. [9]

Herbs such as holy basil and turmeric would help to minimize the risk of infections in the bones such as osteomyelitis by improving immunity and producing a natural antibacterial action. 

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6. Boron

Most people are not aware that trace elements like Boron also play a vital role in improving bone health. Your body does not need Boron in high amounts. However, it is still important to ensure your bones are not deprived of this mineral as it has the potential to help your body use calcium more efficiently. 

Boron can also help in the management of osteoporosis and osteopenia by activating vitamins and minerals essential for bone formation.

The body needs around 3 to 5 mg of boron per day. Boron is found in food sources such as apples, peaches, grapes, nuts, and pears. If you suffer from osteoporosis, you can use a boron supplement to support bone formation and reduce bone loss. 

7. Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are revered for their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids would support bone health by minimizing inflammation caused due to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

8. Silicon

Silicon is another trace mineral needed for the growth and development of bones, tendons, and ligaments. It is estimated that taking around 25 to 50 mg of silicon every day might help to prevent osteoporosis.

Why do we need to use supplements to improve bone health?

Most of the nutrients the body needs to support bone health can be derived from our diet. Hence, eating a balanced and nutritious diet is often considered the most effective way to ensure optimum bone health.

However, sometimes, you may have to use supplements to make the bones healthier and stronger.

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Factors such as advancing age, menopause, diet restrictions, loss of appetite, and digestive disorders can affect the amount of nutrients your bones receive. As a result, the bones are deprived of the nutrients they need to build strong mass. 

In this case, the use of supplements may offer an effective alternative to enhance bone health and prevent diseases caused due to the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

The use of these supplements would protect your bones against several diseases including osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. You can choose the best supplement suitable for you depending on your risk factors and tendencies. 

References:

  1. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199709043371003
  2. https://www.endocrine.org/guidelines-and-clinical-practice/clinical-practice-guidelines/osteoporosis-in-postmenopausal-women
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/calcium-supplements/art-20047097
  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20068257
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S222541101630181X
  8. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-857/black-cohosh
  9. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/

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