We’ve already seen that protein, healthy fats, antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, and calcium are the primary nutrients needed to keep our bones healthy and strong. Bones are living cells in a lattice of protein-rich collagen whose spongelike spaces are filled with crystals of calcium compounds and other minerals. However, the BMD (Bone Mineral Density) Test as measured by the DEXA Scan measures more than just calcium and protein. That’s because there are many micronutrients (trace vitamins and minerals) that also enhance our bone density.
- Magnesium – It helps activate vitamin D so it can promote calcium absorption. Magnesium deficiency is a major risk factor for osteoporosis. It’s found in whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Manganese – It is necessary for both collagen formation and bone mineralization. Deficiency is a major risk factor for fractures. Manganese is found in avocados and seeds and nuts (especially pecans).
- Phosphorus – Calcium must be combined with this for bones to be strong. Phosphorus is found in beans and nuts.
- Boron – The body needs boron to efficiently use magnesium, calcium and vitamin D. All fruits and vegetables contain some boron.
- Copper – It is necessary for collagen formation and bone mineralization. Low levels of copper also increase risk for osteoporosis, but levels that are too high can contribute to toxicity. Beans, raisins, nuts and chocolate contain copper.
- Zinc – It’s a trace mineral that makes up the mineral portion of your bones. It promotes the formation of bone-building cells and prevents the excessive breakdown of bone. It’s found in spinach, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Fluoride – It helps to harden the minerals in bones and teeth. Small amounts are helpful, but too much contributes to toxicity and can interfere with thyroid function. It is found in spinach, grapes, and many fruits and vegetables.
- Silica – It is necessary for crystallization of calcium. Silica is found in coffee and all fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamin A – Bone-building osteoblast cannot develop properly without it. It is found in cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale and greens. Too much decreases bone density.
- B6 and B12 – Without enough B6 bones are weak. It is found in carrots, spinach, walnut bananas and beans. But osteoblasts can’t build bone without vitamin B12, and it must be taken as a supplement (inexpensive).
- Vitamin C – It is necessary for the formation of bone collagen. It is found in citrus fruits and many vegetables.
- Vitamin D – It boosts the body’s ability to absorb calcium. It’s a vitamin we make ourselves from our skin’s exposure to the sun. But we can take it as a supplement. See more from my previous blog.
- Vitamin K2 – It supports bone health by modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation. It is found in green leafy vegetables.
- Folic Acid – It helps to prevent bone demineralization. It is found in spinach, broccoli, asparagus, chard, kale and beet greens.
**Information from Building Bone Vitality by Amy Lanou & Michael Castleman
If you eat a diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, you’ll likely get most of what is needed. However, many integrative doctors believe that supplements can be helpful since our soil is depleted. In addition to eating lots of vegetables and some fruits, I also take a whole food vitamin mineral supplement to ensure I’m covered in these areas. Right now, I’m trying AlgaeCal Plus with their Strontium Boost. I’ll know in six months whether it worked for me. It takes more than just calcium to build strong bones. These micronutrients also contribute to keeping your bones strong.
What are you using that works for you? Next blog, we’ll look at SIX THINGS TO AVOID!
For Your Health,