The American diet is a leading source of obesity and a range of other health problems, including poor bone health. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that 54 million Americans older than age 50 are affected by osteoporosis or low bone mass. Having weak bones may increase your risk of injury, resulting in the need for specialized orthopedic treatment to avoid long-lasting effects. Fortunately, no matter what your age, supplementing your diet with important vitamins and minerals can improve bone health.
Calcium is a mineral that keeps bone tissue dense and strong. Unfortunately, many people do not get enough of this beneficial mineral. Experts suggest that women should aim for 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day while men should not exceed 600 mg. Taking a calcium supplement twice per day with your meals can help you get enough.
The body naturally produces vitamin D in response to sunlight. However, people who use sunscreen (which is good for skin health!), those in cold-weather climates and people who do not spend much time outside may not manufacture enough vitamin D to keep their bones strong. Vitamin D is important in helping the body efficiently absorb calcium. That means that no matter how much calcium you get, much of it will be worthless without vitamin D. As a result, it is recommended that adult men and women supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
Many vitamins and minerals work synergistically to meet the body’s needs. Vitamin K2 is a great example of this. It helps to transport calcium to your bones, teeth and other areas where it is needed. At the same time, vitamin K2 keeps calcium from hardening your arteries and other soft tissues.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Bones rely on healthy cartilage to work smoothly and effectively. The body’s cartilage naturally produces glucosamine and chondroitin, which keep this tissue healthy. Taking a supplement of 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg chondroitin may prevent osteoarthritis by improving joint health.
Remember to Maintain a Balanced Diet
Of course, no supplement can replace the benefits of a healthy and varied diet. Try to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, eating across the color spectrum to increase the range of nutrients you receive.
If you’re worried about the strength of your bones or have experienced a recent bone-related problem, contact Southeast Orthopedic Specialists today to get personalized recommendations for your bone health needs.
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