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No Bones About It

Nutrition is paramount to strong bone density. Calcium, Vitamins D, K, and C, as well as a good source of protein are all essential to bone health. How can you ensure you’re taking good care of your bones?

First, calculate the amount of calcium from daily food sources (like dairy, dark leafy vegetables, almonds, sardines), then supplement according to your age requirements. I usually suggest calcium citrate over other forms of calcium. Men and women vary in calcium needs and overuse of any supplements can cause adverse effects.

It’s crucial that calcium gets absorbed and moves into the bones rather than arteries, which is why Vitamin D and Vitamin K also need your attention. Vitamin D is critical for absorption of calcium, so the Functional Medicine world aims for levels (25 hydroxy Vitamin D) to be around 50. Vitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin, directs calcium into your bones. We prefer Vitamin K2 as a supplement, but when you eat spinach, kale, broccoli, and fermented soy you are converting Vitamin K1 into K2 in the body where it can be used.

Don’t forget about collagen! Think of it as the glue that hold cells and organs of the body together helping form scaffolding for bone formation. Collagen peptides (good quality protein found in the body) have been shown to help increase the organic component and improve bone architecture. Vitamin C (and other antioxidants) is also essential to collagen formation. There are many kinds of collagen supplements, including marine, bovine and porcine, each supporting specific collagen types, but some are better for bone formation than others.

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