What are the best vitamins for bone health?
Do you associate dairy products with strong bones?
Why wouldn’t you? The media and advertising teach us that cheese and milk make us strong boned, as do the government and it is even taught in school. So what would you say if I told you this is a myth? Read on if this intrigues you…
Acid Base Balance
The body is an extremely clever and complicated system. It has an optimal way to function and will adapt to keep as close as possible to its optimum. An obvious example of homeostasis is temperature regulation. Sweating and vasodilation for cooling, and shivering and vasoconstriction for conserving heat.
Less obviously, the pH of the body is regulated too. A near neutral pH is ideal and the body as with temperature regulation will draw on its resources to try to maintain its ideal pH.
Foods have a net acid or alkaline effect on us when ingested. It may sound surprising that its not the pH of the food but the reaction within us that counts. For example lemons are acidic but result in alkaline (in fact all fruit and vegetables create an alkaline effect within the body).
This is good news for bone health for to neutralise an acidic body, alkaline mineral stores are drawn upon (bones and calcium). In the long term this can contribute to brittle bones.
Dairy in fact has a net acid effect on the body, with the biggest culprits being hard cheese!
Eat An Overall Alkaline Diet
Eating fruit and vegetables is best to alkalise the body, and keep away from too much dairy, grains and salt. Spinach and green leafy vegetables not only alkalise the body but provide calcium and minerals too. Fruits provide vitamins including vitamin c which has been shown to aid bone health.
Unfortunately grains (bread, pasta) contain phytates which combine with minerals and prevent them from being ingested. This further compounds the net acid effect the grains have on us.
What Are The Best Vitamins For Bone Health?
Vitamin D is the obvious choice, but are you aware that vitamin C has a beneficial role in bone health?
It must be said that vitamins work best in synergy, and I always recommend taking a multivitamin with any mega-dose single supplements. Saying that vitamin C has been shown to work well and not only curbs the effect of osteoclasts but bolsters the production of osteoblasts too – essential for bone health.
Vitamin C is synthesised by most mammals except humans, and as such we can only get ours if we consume it through fruit and vegetables or supplements.
- Consume a net alkaline diet
- Consume a nutrient rich diet
- Ensure minimum 500mg of vitamin C daily – ignore the RDA since this is the minimum requirement not to fall ill, not the optimum for health.
- Ensure you consume a good multivitamin and mineral supplement and I also recommend taking vitamin D.
- Don’t rely on supplements before nutrition