You have probably heard a lot about bone health in the news recently, but you are probably not aware of how important it really is, to you. The deterioration of bones occurs slowly, subtly, and insidiously. While you are likely to feel sick if your health is failing in many other ways, you might not know your bones are unhealthy until you break one. Advanced bone disease may cause loss of height, or pain associated with misalignment, however by the time these symptoms appear, the damage is already significant. Prevention truly is the best cure, and there are a number of excellent supplements for bone health.
MINERALS FOR BONE HEALTH
Calcium has become almost synonymous with bone health, and it is naturally at the top of the list. Bone cells regulate regularly, much like skin cells, and calcium is the primary element your body uses to create new bone, however, calcium is far from a cure-all for bone health issues. Insufficient calcium will minimize bone regeneration, and lead to weak, brittle bones. Because your body cannot create calcium, it’s essential to get an adequate amount through diet and supplements. Despite the proven role calcium plays in the development of bone, it is not the only mineral found in your bones. Healthy bones contain calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc – just to name a few. If you consume plentiful calcium, with insufficient quantities of other minerals your bones may still develop and regenerate quickly. The problem is they tend to be brittle, and break easy. Although that is exactly what most people want to avoid by taking calcium, it is one of the most brittle minerals found in bones. Your calcium intake needs to be balanced with the harder, and more flexible minerals. Because there are dozens more essential minerals in addition to those listed, it is not feasible to take a separate supplement of each. You need a good, broad-spectrum multi-mineral supplement. Make sure the minerals are chelated (a process enabling digestibility), or you will absorbed little to none in your system.
VITAMINS FOR BONE HEALTH
Vitamin D gets much less attention than calcium, but is equally important. The primary function of Vitamin D (in relation to bone health) is aiding the absorption of calcium. No matter how many calcium supplements and calcium rich foods you consume, your body – and bones – will be calcium deficient without adequate Vitamin D. In fact, this applies not only to calcium, but to all minerals.
Vitamin K works synergistically with Vitamin D to promote the growth and regeneration of bone tissue. A study recently completed in Japan determined that Vitamin K partially prevents the loss of bone which is often associated with medications depleting estrogen levels.
HERBS AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS FOR BONE HEALTH
There are several herbal supplements which also aid in bone health. One of the most effective is horsetail. A tall plant with stiff stocks, horsetail is one of the richest natural sources of silica. This is one of the most vital minerals for lending strength and flexibility to your bones. It may also speed the healing of fractured bones, and assist in healthy growth of hair and fingernails. Protein supplementation may not be needed, depending upon your diet. However, as proteins are essential to bone health and strength, you may wish to supplement if you consume a low-protein diet. Although women are more likely to develop osteoporosis or bone loss, men are not immune. Low testosterone levels are considered to be one of the primary risk factors in men. This has lead to speculation that testosterone supplements may promote healthy bones in men. Taking good supplements for bone health is vital, and it can’t wait until a problem develops. In addition to a healthy diet and supplements, make time to work in plenty of exercise. Strong muscles help protect the skeletal structure, and regular exercise helps maintain flexibility.