For Educational Purposes Only
You probably do not think about your bones much, but once in a while you may hear about a person, not necessarily an older adult, who was walking and just falls down. It turns out they had a bone condition and didn’t even know it. Bones are so important because they make up the skeleton, the framework of the human body.
It takes 10 years for the bones in the body to be renewed. They are continually remodeled where old bone is resorbed and new bone is made.
What is mineralization, resorption and bone density?
- Mineralization is a process where minerals are deposited on the bone matrix to develop bone tissue.
- Resorption is a process called remodeling where hard bone tissue is removed by osteoclasts and new bone cells are replaced by osteoblasts.
- Bone density is the amount of minerals, particularly calcium and phosphorous contained in sections of bone. The highest levels of bone density have been observed in individuals between 25 to 35 years old. With aging, bone density declines and bones become more fragile and break easily.
Exercise should not be forgotten since it is necessary to help improve bone mineral density. This includes impact exercise with resistance training.
Vitamins and minerals provide the foundation of the essential nutrients required for healthy bones. They are found in dairy, meats, fruits and vegetables, but most people are not consuming enough from their diet especially many of the nutrients needed for maintaining strong bones.
Particular vitamins and minerals work together in concert with their functional roles to work synergistically to improve bone density and help the body stay healthy.
Bones require a wide spectrum of nutrients to stay healthy. This includes the stars calcium and vitamin D, but the other bone supporting nutrients are important also which include magnesium, boron, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, chromium, iodine, silicon, and vitamin C.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is used in the mineralization of bone and to help absorb and maintain calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Many people have problems consuming enough dairy products to take in enough calcium and vitamin D. Therefore, taking vitamin D in a supplement may be necessary.
Vitamin D helps to form the hormone calcitriol, which is the active vitamin D. If calcitriol doesn’t form it will lead to reduced calcium absorption.
Calcium is a key mineral utilized in the bones and in teeth. If the body doesn’t have enough calcium, it draws the calcium from body stores, which will weaken bones and prevent the formation of new healthy bone. In the body, bones are the major storage location that holds calcium. The human body is unable to manufacture calcium, therefore it needs to be consumed from food or from supplements. Foods with good sources of calcium are dairy, for vegetarians fortified plant-based milks such as soy, almond and rice; cheese and yogurt.
Magnesium is a mineral necessary for various functions. It has a key function in the health of bone and may even help to prevent bone loss. It is involved in bone formation by stimulating the production of bone cells called osteoblasts. It acts as a cofactor for enzymes which are used to make bone matrix. Good sources of magnesium are whole grains and dark-green, leafy vegetables. In addition, low fat milk and yogurt.
Zinc is such an essential mineral necessary for multiple jobs. It is required to maintain the healthy growth of skeletal bones. It may encourage the regeneration of new bone. Red meat, shellfish and legumes provide a good source of zinc.
Manganese is a mineral that is used in small amounts, but key in helping to keep bones strong and healthy. Manganese is found in whole grains, nuts, oysters, soybeans and other legumes and rice.
SeleniumSelenium is a mineral that operates as an antioxidant in the body. Selenium has been studied and suggested to help skeletal development. Studies show that selenium blood levels are related to bone health. Low levels demonstrate problems with bone loss. Some research shows that there is an association between selenium levels and bone density and bone turnover. Good sources are beef, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, whole grains and eggs.
Chromium is a trace mineral that is utilized by the body to help maintain insulin activity, which may help bones by helping collagen production by the osteoblast cells and helping to regulate bone breakdown. Some foods containing chromium are broccoli, nuts, meat and whole grain products.
Potassium is an important mineral that may help to promote bone mineral density. It may neutralize acid levels and help to prevent bones from losing calcium. It has been shown to help bones in older adult populations. Good sources are bananas, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
Boron is a trace element that has a number of biological functions including bone health and calcium metabolism. It plays a role in bone growth and maintenance. Boron helps the body use calcium and the absorption of magnesium. Boron is found in avocados, raisins, prunes, peaches and grape juice.
Iodine is an essential element of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone, which is important in regulating bone growth. Iodine is naturally found in seaweed such as kelp, nori, and kombu; and fish.
Silicon is an essential mineral to help bones form. It assists in improving the quality of bone matrix and bone mineralization. It has been suggested that supplementing silicon may increase bone mineral density and bone strength. Good sources are bananas, green beans and leafy greens.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and has antioxidant properties to help protect the body from damaging free radicals. Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of bones. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and juice.
In summary, the bones are a major part of the skeleton and framework of the human body. One needs to take care of them with proper nutrition and exercise. Various nutrients need to be consumed either from the diet or supplements.
If you have a health condition and or take medication, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider prior to taking supplements.
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