Vitamins & Minerals for Bone Health
Managing Supplements for Bone Health
Bone is a growing, changing structure – in order to grow normal, healthy bones your body requires adequate Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium. It is best to take your vitamin supplements without taking medicines that block stomach acid production (such as Pepcid or omeprazole) at the same time. It is also best to split your vitamins into twice daily dosing to maximize their absorption.
Vitamins that Promote Bone Health
Vitamin D can be found in food, supplements and sunlight! About 10-15 minutes of exposure a few times a week can supply small amounts of vitamin D to the body (unfortunately SPF over 8 blocks the vitamin D producing UVA rays provided by the sun). Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and therefore is best taken with food. It may be even more effective if you divide it into twice daily dosing.
Vitamin D can be found in:
- Fish liver oils (such as cod liver oil)
- Fatty fish species (such as herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna)
- Full fat dairy products.
Some people with chronic liver or kidney disease may require Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) which is a vitamin D metabolite available in capsules of 0.25 and 0.5 micrograms by prescription. It has a rapid onset of action and the half-life is only six hours. It is associated with a fairly high incidence of low calcium levels in your blood stream and can be dangerous if not followed carefully by a doctor.
Vitamin C & Vitamin K
Vitamin C: It is unclear whether there is a true benefit to bone growth from vitamin C. However, there is some evidence that vitamin C deficiency may be associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis. High doses of vitamin C are associated with kidney stones, so be careful!
Check out our Osteoporosis page to learn more.
Vitamin K: There is unclear evidence to support or deny use of vitamin K for bone health.
Calcium: 1200mg Calcium citrate is required for normal bone growth. Many food sources exist: green leafy vegetables (broccoli, collards, Chinese cabbage, kale), milk, cheese and yogurt, sardines, canned salmon, seaweed, sesame seeds and tahini, almonds, nuts and seeds.
Magnesium: 350 mg of magnesium daily. Consume green vegetables such as spinach, kale, halibut, almonds, cashews, and whole grains.