Nutrition alone cannot fully prevent bone loss or osteoporosis, however vitamins and supplements for bone health …
The more patients know, the greater their ability to choose behaviors that help support optimal health. Here are five pieces of information worth sharing with your chiropractic patients that involve vitamins and supplements for bone health.
Bone health is even more important at different stages in life
Realistically, bone health is important for people of all ages. However, those at certain stages in life can benefit from paying even closer attention to the strength and density of their bones and vitamins and supplements for bone health. Oftentimes, these are times that involve changing hormones for women.
An article published in Frontiers in Endocrinology shares that almost half of bone mass is acquired during adolescence. This makes tending to bone health important at this time. The article further states that this topic is even more critical for teens who take birth control or growth hormones as these substances can impact bone size, makeup, and geometry.
Women who will be entering menopause also benefit from paying closer to bone health. This is because research has found that women start losing bone density several years before their final menstrual period.
Certain bone issues are connected with higher mortality rates
Several studies have found that when older adults sustain a hip fracture, their mortality risk increases. One prospective cohort study estimates that the risk of death for this demographic is 3-4 times higher in the year following fracture repair (surgery) than for the population as a whole.
Another piece of research, this one a 2019 retrospective cohort study involving 3,992 patients, adds that mortality risk after a hip fracture continues to increase over time. Additionally, the risk of mortality post-fracture is even higher for males, individuals with other health conditions (such as liver disease or diabetes), and those who are institutionalized.
There’s also a connection between bone health and mental health
Other studies have found a link between mental health and bone health. For example, a 2021 article in the International Journal of Medical Sciences explains that the amount of psychological stress a person experiences can impact their bone health due to the stress creating low-grade inflammation and hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system.
The opposite also appears to be true, meaning that poor bone health can negatively affect mental health. A study of 26 patients with bone fractures reported that the subjects’ feelings of depression often worsened after the fracture, right along with worsened pain.
Exercise is as good for bones as it is for muscles
Most people connect exercise with building muscle or improving cardiovascular fitness. Another benefit of regular physical activity is healthier bones.
A 2018 article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health adds that the sooner the patient starts to exercise the better, for females particularly, as bone size and density increases achieved through early-life exercise often persist for several years. And the best exercise for this purpose is high-impact movements, such as jumping, in addition to weight-bearing activities.
Vitamins and supplements for bone health to fill dietary gaps
Two of the most important vitamins and supplements for bone health are calcium and vitamin D, the latter of which helps the body absorb the former. These nutrients can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. But if patients aren’t consuming the recommended amounts of each via their diet, supplements can help fill the gap.
The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) recommends that adults between the ages of 19-50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily, this amount increasing to 1,200 mg in those aged 51 and older. If taking a supplement containing calcium carbonate, this form is best absorbed when consumed with a meal or snack. Calcium citrate, another form of calcium used in dietary supplements, is well absorbed both with and without food.
The ODS’ recommended intake for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) daily for adults aged 19-70 and 20 mcg (800 IU) per day for those 71 and older. Taking vitamin D with food that contains fat can help the body better absorb this fat-soluble nutrient. Additionally, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements may be better for raising vitamin D levels in the blood than those containing vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
Nutrition alone cannot fully prevent bone loss or osteoporosis, however vitamins and supplements for bone health can manage and prevent bone loss and diseases for patients with poor diets and/or unhealthy lifestyles.