What are the best vitamins for bone health?

Vitamin D is the essential vitamin for healthy bones. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D can result in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteoporosis).

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Did you know? Your bones are constantly changing. New bone is made as old bone is broken down. For this reason, we need a steady supply of calcium and vitamin D to maintain a healthy, strong skeleton.

 

While men and women of all ages and ethnicity can develop osteoporosis, some of the risk factors for osteoporosis include individuals who are:

  • Female
  • White/Caucasian
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Older age
  • Small body size
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Physical inactivity

 

What Else Does Vitamin D Help With?

Vitamin D has many other functions within the body as well – it helps nerves to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

 

Vitamin D is so important that it is the only vitamin your body makes it by itself – but only after sufficient skin exposure to sunlight. Unfortunately, due to increased rates of skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends against getting vitamin D from unprotected exposure to sunlight.

 

People who don’t get sun exposure, especially people living in Canada and the northern half of the US, are particularly at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Other at-risk individuals include:

  • People who have fewer “receptors” in their skin for converting sunlight to vitamin D
  • People who don't get enough vitamin D in their diet
  • People who may have trouble absorbing vitamin D from foods
  • People who may have more trouble converting dietary vitamin D to a useful form due to aging kidneys.

 

Seniors are also at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. In fact, the risk for vitamin D deficiency in people over 65 years of age is very high. Surprisingly, as many as 40% of older people, even in sunny climates, don’t have enough vitamin D in their systems.

 

For these reasons, it's probably best to get vitamin D from foods, supplements or multivitamins. Geritol® multivitamin contains 100% RDA of vitamin D, along with every vitamin and mineral established as essential in human nutrition.

 


 

 

SOURCES:

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements: National Institutes of Health. June 24, 2011. Retrieved from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/ January 12, 2013.

Vitamin D Deficiency. Weight Loss & Diet Plans. 2005-2013. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency January 12, 2013.

Top Food Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D. Food & Recipes. 2005-2013. WebMD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/calcium-vitamin-d-foods. January 12, 2013.

Calcium and Bone Health. Nutrition for Everyone. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/calcium.html January 18, 2013.