Six Nutrients Vital For Bone Health

Written By - NCNR Team Saturday, March 30, 2019

Calcium is so widely known nutrient for its importance in bone health. You must have heard common phrases like ‘Drink milk for stronger bones… Take calcium supplement for healthy bone…. Look for food fortified with calcium… right? Well this is just one side of the coin. The truth is calcium definitely play a crucial for health but in conjoint with many other vital nutrients. These major players in this regard are vitamin D, vitamin K2-7, Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorous and Zinc (Zn)- which are woefully under-publicized in the bone health campaign.

Calcium

Calcium is a major building-block of our bone tissue, and 99% of our body’s calcium is store in the bone and teeth to supports their structure.

  • It is a major part of tooth and bone health as well.
  • It makes bones strong and dense.
  • Bone calcium also acts as a ‘reservoir’ for maintaining Blood calcium level, which is essential for healthy muscle and nerve functioning.
  • Every day, we lose few amounts of calcium through sweat, skin, hair, nails, urine and feces and unfortunately our bodies cannot make its own calcium that’s why it is very important to get adequate calcium from the diet.
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When we do not get the calcium from diet, it takes from our bones. Its deficiency leads to poor bone health leading to rickets (In children) and osteoporosis (In adult), reduced mineral density and increased risk of falls and fractures.

Plant source contains oxalates and phytates which are naturally occurring inhibitors that bind to calcium, making some of it unavailable for body to absorb. Too many Indians specially vegetarians and vegans do not get the adequate calcium from their diet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins which is most vital to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and to facilitate normal immune system function.

  • In simple terms, Vitamin D is essential for the dietary Calcium and Phosphorus absorption.
  • Also, vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth.
  • It improves the resistance against certain diseases.
Our body can naturally produce vitamin D from when exposed to the sunlight. However, it is often inadequate these days due to high pollution, using sunscreen lotion, spending more time indoors, darker skin etc. Therefore, supplements become necessary to avoid deficiency.

Our body can naturally produce vitamin D from cholesterol when skin is exposed to the sunlight. For this reason, it is also called as the "sunshine" vitamin. However, sun exposure is often inadequate these days due to being in an area with high pollution, using sunscreen lotion, spending more time indoors, living in big cities where heighted buildings blocks the sunlight or having darker skin. (The higher the levels of skin pigment melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb.)

Due to above reason, its deficiency is extremely common. Which is associated with rickets (in children), a disease in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, leads to to soft bones and skeletal deformities. It is also linked to osteoporosis. vitamin D deficient people have a much greater risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, dementia, cancer, mortality, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, very few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D therefore, supplements become necessary to avoid deficiency.

Vitamin K

There are so many nutrients that contribute to bone health, but one that excite me is a form of Vitamin K2 -7. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin plays an important role in blood coagulation, better known as blood clotting. There are two main forms of vitamin K: Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) found in plant foods like leafy greens whereas, Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) found in animal foods and fermented foods.

Vitamin K2 is further divided into two major subtypes, menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). This menaquinone-4 (MK-4) i.e. Vitamin K2-7 necessary calcium metabolism.

Vitamin K2-7 regulates calcium metabolism by three ways:

  • Regulate calcium deposition in the skeletal tissues - it promotes the calcification of bones and prevents the calcium deposition in soft tissues like blood vessels and kidneys.
  • Promotes bone calcification: It activates osteocalcin, a protein that promotes the accumulation of calcium in your bones and teeth.
  • Reduces soft tissues Calcification: It activates matrix GLA protein, which prevents calcium from accumulating in soft tissues, such as the kidneys and blood vessels.

Vitamin D and Vitamin K work synergistically in calcium metabolism. vitamin D alone may cause blood vessel calcification, while vitamin K may help prevent this from happening. Thus, supplementing only with vitamin D without Vit K2-7 will be harmful.

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Magnesium

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral. It is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body and helps to maintain good health. About 60% of magnesium is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood.
Overall, magnesium assures the strength and firmness of bones and makes teeth harder by no. of ways:

  • Vital for absorption and metabolism of calcium.
  • Stimulate hormone calcitonin that release calcium from the blood and tissues back into the bones also called as bone-preserving hormone.
  • Suppress parathyroid hormone activity that regulate bone breakdown in a number of ways.
  • Convert inactive vitamin D into its active form for calcium absorption, therefore magnesium deficiency leads to vitamin D resistance syndrome.
  • Activate an enzyme ‘alkaline phosphatase’ required for new bone formation.

Therefore, even mild magnesium deficiency is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis.

Zinc apart of bone health is required for several other processes including Gene expression, Enzymatic reactions, Immune function, Protein and DNA synthesis, Wound healing, Growth and development.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that has many vital functions in our body. zinc is found in every tissue type that exists in our bodies. Zinc has many vital roles in bone health, these are:

  • Requires producing the collagen protein threads on which calcium–phosphorus compound is deposited for bone formation.
  • Helps in bone-building cells of the body known as osteoblasts.
  • It’s also essential enzymes production that degrade and recycle worn-out bits of bone protein.
  • Proper calcium absorption also depends on zinc.
  • Essential for bone healing thus, increased amounts are found at bone repair sites.

Low body zinc levels have been closely linked with osteoporosis.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, contributing to approx. 25% of all the mineral in the body. It plays an important role in maintaining the health of bones, muscles, kidneys, blood vessels as well as each cell in your body.

  • It combines with calcium to form a mineral crystal that gives strength and structure to our bones and teeth.
  • Right proportion of both calcium and phosphorus i.e 1:1 is requiring for bone health.
  • It also plays an important structural role in nucleic acids and cell membranes.
  • It is involved in the body’s energy production process too.
  • Produces, maintain, and repair tissue and cells.
  • Balance and use vitamins D, as well as other minerals like magnesium and zinc.

Our body absorbs less phosphorus when calcium levels are too high, and vice versa. But we need both in balanced ratio to maintain bone health.

We say

We need adequate calcium to strengthen our bones simultaneously with vitamin D, vitamin K2-7, Magnesium (Mg), Phosphorous and Zinc (Zn) to help body absorb calcium. A right calcium supplements can help you get all the essential nutrient in the right amount.

Our Vitrovea Triple Calcium is made with nutrients in their most bioavailable forms, all chosen for their purity, potency and quality. It is formulated according to the latest research findings that calcium alone is not enough. Manufactured according to high quality standards, which are externally validated to meet or exceed the CGMP’s (Good Manufacturing Practices) regulations.

6 best Nutrient for Your bones:
Nutrients and RDA Needed for: Food Source: Did You Know?
CalciumAdult - 600mg of Calcium/day. For post-Menopausal women 800mg/day Major part of bone mineral- gives strength and dense Milk and milk products, Meat and poultry like eggs, fish like salmon, sardines with bones, shrimp; tofu almonds; beans and lentils; dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli. The Average Indian diet is calcium deficient, providing approx. ½ of the needed Ca only.
Vitamin DAdult- 10 microgram/day (400 IU) Dietary Calcium Absorption Egg yolk, salmon, sardines, shrimp and beef liver. Hence its deficiency is extremely common. Sunlight is the best source however, However, it is often inadequate these days due to high pollution, using sunscreen lotion, spending more time indoors, darker skin etc.
Vitamin K2-7Adult- 55 microgram/day Synthesis of osteocalcin for structure bone tissue and Reduces calcification of soft tissues. Vitamin K2 is found in animal-sourced foods, such as liver, eggs and cheese, and fermented foods like natto Vitamin K2 is also produced by gut bacteria in our large intestine.
MagnesiumAdult Men - 340mg/day and for women – 310mg/day calcium and vitamin D regulation. whole grains, Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashew nuts, Brazil nuts flax seeds, pumpkin and chia seed; legumes, tofu, dark chocolate, Avocados, fatty fish, banana, green leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, kale etc. Plays a key role in Thyroid health too.
PhosphorusAdult- 600mg of Calcium/day. Part of bone mineral -makes it dense Milk, chocolate, yogurt, egg yolk, ricotta cheese, beans, and fish, nuts and seeds Diabetes can also lead to phosphorus deficiency.
ZincAdult Men- 12mg/d and Women10mg/d and Recycling worn-out bone protein, Bone healing, Collagen production for new bond building Meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains, vegetables like green beans, kale, sweet potatoes, dark chocolates. Zinc also helps keep our immune system strong.