Whether you already have weak bones or are trying to prevent them from nearing that state, focusing on your diet is a great way of supporting the health and strength of your skeletal system.
We have already discussed one essential mineral that helps in the growth and maintenance of bone and joints (that is, zinc), and today we’ll be exploring the relationship between Vitamin D and bone health.
Does Vitamin D improve bone health?
Along with other nutrients, Vitamin D plays a key role in the formation and health of bone. When low levels of this vitamin exist within the body, bones have increased chances of becoming abnormal in some way, whether it changes in shape or density. These factors increase the risk of fracture.
Cells, vitamins, and minerals work synergistically to form, grow and maintain bone structure properly. While the majority of bone is made up of minerals, vitamins are necessary for the osteogenic—or bone-building—processes to run smoothly.
Calcium is one of the minerals that contribute to the strength and density of your bones and Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in your body. This is why doctors often suggest taking both nutrients together.
Examples of when Vitamin D is recommended
When someone has a health condition that affects bones in such a capacity where an increased risk of fracture is present, such as osteoporosis, Vitamin D may be recommended as one of the components of treatment.
It is often taken to minimize the risk of osteoporosis or to try to prevent it from worsening. Maintaining intake of proper nutrients long-term is a method of counteracting rickets—a reduction in the strength and hardness of bones in children—and osteomalacia, a condition in which bones are much softer than usual.
A 2012 study in National Jewish Health found that adequate amounts of Vitamin D blocked inflammatory signaling in the body, while reduced levels did not have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
What About Joint Health?
While Vitamin D is promoted for bone health, can it help the joints as well?
The jury is still out, but some researches have reason to believe that Vitamin D may play a beneficial role in joint health!
Two studies associated joint discomfort with a deficiency of Vitamin D. In one of the two studies, researchers increased levels of Vitamin D intake for the participants of the study via supplements, and their pain ceased.
Overall, more research is needed on the potential benefits of vitamin D for the health of joints.
What are some sources of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D isn’t found in high amounts naturally; most foods are fortified with it.
Some foods rich in Vitamin D include:
- fatty fish
- beef liver
- certain mushrooms
- certain krill oil
You’ve probably heard of the top way to give your body this vitamin: spend time in the sun! Of course, this method has some challenges as well. Spending too much time in the UV rays of the sun can create risk, such as skin cancer.
Also, many people simply don’t get much sun due to their occupation of working indoors, a sedentary lifestyle, the climate where they live and other factors.
A simple way to obtain enough vitamin D is to take it in the form of a dietary supplement.
It’s a smart idea to talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your daily routine. Since this essential vitamin is so important to the bones, it’s a main part of the formula in Artic Flex, which is a supplement focused on bone and joint care.
Taking in enough bone-promoting nutrients, including vitamin D, is an ideal way of giving your body the right conditions to take care of its bones…but there are more nutrients that can work together to achieve an even greater health benefit.