Over the course of our lifetimes, most of us will suffer from softer, weaker bones. Some 52 million Americans have low bone density. In addition, one out of every two women and up to one out of every four men over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone due to fragile bones (1). But is it simply a fact of life that bones must grow more brittle with age? Or, is there a way of protecting bones well into adulthood?
Scientists are finding more and more that a proactive approach with the right kind of physical activity, dietary and lifestyle choices, as well as supplementation, can help maintain stronger bones well into adulthood.
Besides providing a supportive framework, bones serve to protect and anchor parts of our bodies in place. Bone is also a very much alive, ever changing tissue that requires lifelong protection and nurturing to properly maintain the body’s health and youth. Our bones are not hard pieces of matter, or stone. Inside, bones generate a lot of lively activity. For instance, bone tissue contains osteoblasts, which are a group of cells that create new bone tissue; while a different group of cells called osteoclasts break bone down.
This bone remodeling is what makes bone regrowth possible after a break and allows for rapid growth during childhood. Unfortunately, the breakdown of bone begins to outpace the production of new bone as we age. Strategies to maintain healthy bones should be focused on slowing the breakdown while improving the production of bones.
A lot of improvement can be made through lifestyle choices. That includes limiting alcohol intake and avoiding smoking. Proper thyroid hormone maintenance as advised by a physician is also key with age. In addition, engaging in any regular physical activity can make a difference, especially if it’s the weight-bearing kind. But no matter your lifestyle, of greater importance for bone remodeling will always be supplying the proper amount of nutrients daily.
Calcium at the Core
For maintaining healthy bones, calcium usually comes to mind for good reason. Found in abundance in bones, the mineral is essential for maintaining strong skeletal tissue. Yet the aging body is not as efficient at using calcium. Theories as to why this occurs include decreased absorption or insufficient dietary intake. Because calcium is needed for function of other parts of the body other than bone (e.g. muscle tissue), it is often leached from bones when not supplied in the diet. The result is diminished bone density, or bones that are soft and at higher risk of fractures.
In addition, interference with the absorption of calcium is why excessive alcohol intake is thought to reduce bone density. So it’s a good idea to watch intake—having no more than two drinks daily. But the most critical factor in calcium absorption is low vitamin D levels in the body, which has grown to epidemic proportions across the world.
Sunny Days for Your Skeleton
Why so many of us lack vitamin D has much to do with our modern lifestyles. As most can relate, the majority of our time is spent indoors, which gives your skin little exposure to the UVB rays needed to produce vital vitamin D. Going outdoors regularly, around mid-day, in particular, can be important not only for receipt of the “sunshine vitamin,” but also for gaining some bone-strengthening exercise.
Too few foods today supply enough vitamin D to meet recommended intakes of 800 IU per day. For that matter, there is continual debate if that intake level is enough to help people meet optimal blood levels of the active form of vitamin D. A well-studied solution is supplementation with at least 2000 IU (preferably in the more bioavailable form of D3, not D2) to maintain healthy blood levels.
Youth with K2 and Mega Density with Omega-3
While vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium, vitamin K is necessary to help direct where it should go—mainly, your bones. That is because the nutrient is necessary for vitamin K-dependent proteins important in the formation of bone and required for the removal of calcium from the arteries (2,3). Vitamin K’s close relationship with calcium, for these reasons, is now a known factor in protecting against arterial calcification.
Not just any type of vitamin K works, however. There are multiple forms of vitamin K, including K1 and K2, but it’s K2 (menaquinone sourced from friendly bacteria in foods like cheese) that has been shown to be more biologically active and enhance bone formation (4).Unfortunately, most vitamin and mineral supplements use vitamin K1 (phylloquinone sourced from plants) because it is easily available.
Another up-and-coming nutrient that research is showing to be important for bone health is omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Studies show that they help increase bone density by improving the formation of bone by decreasing the rate bone is broken down (5). At least 2 grams of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids daily are necessary for bone benefits.
Total Bone Health in Ageless Essentials Daily Pack
It’s one thing to know about the nutrients you need for healthy bones throughout your life, but it’s another thing to actually get all those nutrients in adequate amounts on a daily basis. Studies continue to show that a good portion of the population fails to consistently get enough calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 (3)—possibly contributing to the aforementioned rates of poor bone density.
Conveniently, Ageless Essentials Daily Pack contains all of these bone health nutrients—in the right, most bioavailable forms—in amounts that will help keep bones strong and healthy. Plus, by splitting up dosages in A.M and P.M packs, you’re going to maximally absorb all those nutrients. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start protecting and nurturing your bones. If you want to maintain your youthfulness, make bone health a priority.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation http://nof.org/articles/4
- Zhou W, Langsetmo L, Berger C et al. Longitudinal changes in calcium and vitamin D intakes and relationship to bone mineral density in a prospective population-based study: the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos). J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact 2013;13:470-9.
- Price CT, Langford JR, Liporace FA. Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of their Availability in the Average North American Diet. Open Orthop J 2012;6:143-9.
- Flore R, Ponziani FR, Di Rienzo TA et al. Something more to say about calcium homeostasis: the role of vitamin K2 in vascular calcification and osteoporosis. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2013;17:2433-40.
- Nawata K, Yamauchi M, Takaoka S, Yamaguchi T, Sugimoto T. Association of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake with bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Calcif Tissue Int 2013;93:147-54.