Well, as a follow-up to my last post on bisphosphonates, a newly published review states what we already knew... that for optimal bone health, many nutrients are needed.
I know calcium and vitamin D get most of the attention. Magnesium and vitamin K have also made inroads in consumer awareness in recent years, but there are a lot more.
The lead authors write, "It is possible that nutrient patterns, and not individual foods or vitamins, are important in bone health, thus explaining some of the paradoxical results related to individual nutrients."
The potential benefit of B vitamins are likely linked to their ability to reduce homocysteine, which not only has a negative impact on bones, but also the health of the cardiovascular system and cognition/dementia.
Vitamin C is needed to hydroxylate the amino acids lysine and proline to form collagen, which gives bone that slight degree of flexibility that gives it strength.
Many other nutrients including certain minerals are needed for collagen production.
And then there are all those nimerals that add density to bone, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc.
Antioxidant nutrients prevent oxidative damage... and the list goes on.
This is important to recognize since most people think they can just take a calcium supplement and think they're doing their bones good. Not so. This is why I always recommend a true "bone health" supplement whenever someone is concerned with osteoporosis prevention.
Outside of nutrition, keep in mind that there are other factors (like weight-bearing exercise, not smoking, genetics, etc.)...so you can see how complex the overall picture is.
Source: Vitamins and bone health: beyond calcium and vitamin D
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