There are numerous supplements that can help improve your health, including that of your bones and what is the best supplement for bone health? We promise you the answer is maybe not what you expected!
What Is the Best Supplement For Bone Health?
Calcium is a mineral that can go a long way in helping your bones (and teeth) remain healthy. However, taking a calcium supplement is not the answer to stronger bones. It could in fact make them worse!
The best way to get the calcium you need for the health of your bones is via your diet.
Erin Michos is an associate director of preventive cardiology and had this to say about calcium supplements:
A nutrient in pill form is not processed in the body the same way as it is when ingested from a food source. Furthermore, people believe that the proof that calcium supplements fortify bones is more robust than it really is,” she says. “The truth is, the research is inconclusive. But there is a growing body of evidence that suggests no health benefit, or even worse, that calcium supplements may be harmful.
How Can Calcium Help The Bones?
There are several ways in which calcium supplements can help maintain the health of your bones. You can go through these benefits below.
Our bodies require our bones to be healthy to be able to carry out regular tasks such as walking, lifting things, normal movement, exercising or even working. Bones can also help maintain the structure of our bodies while also supporting the functions of other attached muscles, tissues, ligaments and tendons.
Bones might also store several minerals, including calcium. By maintaining the levels of calcium in your bones, you can maintain their strength and ensure that they function normally.
Even if there is enough calcium in your bones but not enough in the cells, then the cells might end up absorbing this calcium from your bones, hence weakening them. By ensuring proper calcium intake, you can maintain proper levels across your body.
This can then help reduce the severity of bone injuries while also reducing their frequency.
Prevents Calcium Deficiency
Calcium deficiency can occur if your body, bones in particular, does not contain essential levels of calcium required for carrying out regular functions. Mainly, if your blood has extremely low levels of calcium, then this can result in a condition known as hypocalcemia, which can then prevent other organs from receiving calcium.
A calcium deficiency might not result in overt symptoms, although several people might feel pain, cramps, weakness, fatigue and a tingling sensation.
Reduces The Risk Of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease wherein your bones become weak due to a decrease in bone mass and density. This can result in brittle bones that can then become more prone or vulnerable to damage, resulting in more intense injuries.
Usually, there are no symptoms of osteoporosis, allowing you to become aware of it only when you come across a bone injury.
Through regular calcium supplementation, you can prevent osteoporosis from occurring since your bones and bodies will always have sufficient calcium to maintain the condition of your bones.
Maintains Bone Mass
Your bones require sufficient mass and density to ensure proper functioning. A loss of this can result in osteoporosis while also leading to a bunch of other issues such as slow development, frequent injuries and even irreparable damage, resulting in the immobility of certain bones of your body.
Proper bone mass is also important for helping along the process of growth and development of the bones of children.
Aids Muscle Contraction
The presence of healthy bones in the body can also help the muscles to contract properly due to their attachment to bones. In addition, muscle stimulation usually results in letting some calcium out which can then make the process of contraction simpler.
Contractions can then help facilitate easy movements by your body. The absence of enough calcium can result in interferences with this process, causing cramps, which is why those more vulnerable to such cramps and pain can benefit from calcium supplements.
For instance, older people, children, pregnant women, menopausal women or even those in their menstrual cycles can alleviate the pain through calcium supplements and easing the process of contraction.
Other Health Benefits
Your body also needs calcium for performing a wide range of functions such as maintaining blood pressure, preventing clotting, maintaining cardiovascular health, ensuring proper functioning of enzymes, reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and several others.
While your body stores calcium for these purposes in the cells, insufficient levels of it might force your cells to draw out such calcium from your bones to compensate. You will, therefore, need to ensure that you are taking enough calcium for your bones as well as for other functions of your body.
Calcium Dosage Requirements
According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) levels, men and women (including lactating and pregnant women) should consume 1,000 mg of calcium every day. Women with ages over 50 and men with ages over 70 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium on a daily basis to maintain proper functioning and levels.
Calcium Food Sources
There are many natural food sources for calcium including;
- Milk, cheese, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products
- green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach
- soya drinks with added calcium,
- fish containing bones (sardines and canned salmon),
- beans (canned baked beans) and lentils
- whey protein
- Fortified foods such as cereal,
- Fortified drinks such as fortified soy and fortified orange juice
Other Helpful Supplements For Bone Health
While calcium is essential for bone health, other supplements like vitamin D and magnesium are quite important as well. Vitamin D, in particular, is extremely necessary for maintaining your bone health while also allowing your body to absorb calcium from the food you eat or the supplements you take.
Potential Side Effects Of Supplements
If you end up taking too much calcium in your body or even if you simply take calcium supplements that do not suit you, then this can result in side effects like nausea, weakness, pain, cramps, palpitations or even result in a condition known as hypercalcemia.
What Is the Best Supplement for Bone Health? Summing Up
Calcium is the best supplement for bone health, although vitamin D is also quite important. Calcium can improve bone strength, prevent and overcome deficiencies, help muscle contractions, maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
Says Michos (see above quote) taking calcium supplements might produce unwanted side effects and meeting your daily calcium needs through your diet alone is perfectly safe. “Most people can get the adequate calcium through their diet – if they make the effort!