The Importance of Calcium and Vitamin D for Bone Health
From strengthening your bones to providing an all-around healthy lifestyle, both calcium and vitamin D play a vital role in bone health. Ensuring you have an adequate intake of these two bone-boosters as part of a well-balanced diet and physical activity may reduce the risk of Osteoporosis and can help improve your overall bone health.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is a mineral that is stored in your bones, and without it your body lacks a strong foundation, making your bones more brittle and weak. This bone-enhancing nutrient works by forming hydroxyapatite crystals, which are found in collagen, and ultimately providing a skeletal structure for our body. Around 99% of calcium in our body is stored in our bones and teeth, and rightly so as this mineral is what enhances our skeletal structure and makes our bones strong (Better Bones, 2014).
What is Vitamin D?
Although calcium is the first nutrient that comes to mind when thinking of bone health, it is crucial that we consume vitamin D to allow our bones to absorb the calcium they need. You can have a huge intake of calcium, but without this prohormone, your bones will not absorb it, deeming the mineral as useless. Whether consumed through foods, supplements or absorbed by the sun, your body converts vitamin D into dihydroxy vitamin D. This hormone is responsible for enabling calcium to reach its full potential by aiding the absorption of it where it is most needed in your body (Web MD, 2017).
Calcium and vitamin D both play a crucial role in bone metabolism: the remodeling of mature bone tissue and new bone formation. Bone is regulated and reformed throughout your life and contributes to the health of your skeletal framework. The interactions amongst three important hormones – parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and vitamin D form this regulation of bone and bone mineral metabolism. The reformation of bones in the body can help fight against problems such as osteoporosis, aiding both the young and the elderly with healthier bones (Kini.U, Nandeesh.B.N, undated).
According to one study (Faculty of Sport and Health Science, 2017), vitamin D and low-fat milk supplementation enhance bone metabolism in female high-school endurance runners. This study shows that calcium and vitamin D supplements can potentially affect the inflammation that is caused by exercise, and boost calcium metabolism.
Another way bone metabolism can improve bone health is by contributing to increased physical activity levels. Losing unnecessary weight or managing your diet can be helpful for your bone health as the less fat that is stored in your body, the less pressure your skeleton is under. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (2017), light and regular physical activity aid mobility and flexibility of your joints as well as keeping up your bone health.
Repairing muscle tissues
According to the San Diego Center for Health (2015), we need plenty of nutrients to assist healing wounds and repair muscle tissue. Vitamin D is a necessity when it comes to healing injuries. This contributes to bone health because the quicker you heal from an injury, the sooner you can exercise and strengthen your bones. To further support your bone health, why not try Schiff Super Calcium Plus Magnesium dietary supplements. These softgel supplements promote strong bones and teeth, as well as assisting muscle, nerve, hormone and enzyme function*.
Better Bones (2014) The calcium myth
Carr.A, McCall.C (2017) The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights
Kini.U, Nandeesh.B.N (undated) Physiology of Bone Formation, Remodeling and Metabolism
Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University (2017) The Effect of Ongoing Vitamin D and Low-Fat Milk Intake on Bone Metabolism in Female High-School Endurance Runners
NIH (2015) Exercise for your bone health
Web MD (2017) How much vitamin D do I need?
San Diego Center for Health (2015) Nutrition for Soft Tissue Recovery