May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, which is a perfect time to address a debilitating condition affecting 200 million women worldwide. We’re often told we can minimize our risk with heavy doses of calcium. Fact or fiction?
Calcium does play a crucial role in bone health, but it doesn’t fly solo. In fact, when it comes to effective osteoporosis prevention, a host of nutrients are required. Dr. Susan E. Brown, author of Better Bones, Better Body, states that “For most women, it’s just not possible to get enough of all these vitamins and minerals through diet alone. I recommend nutritional supplements in addition to a healthy diet, to ensure your bones get the nutrients they need.” This bone-building cast of players includes:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Consuming too few of these nutrients can increase the risk for bone loss and subsequent osteoporosis.1 Essential fatty acids are also important for healthy bones. Multiple studies show that these omega-3s from fish oil play a crucial role in promoting─and preserving─bone strength and integrity.2,3,4 So, make sure that your calcium formula includes all important bone-health nutrients, and add at least a gram of high-quality fish oil daily. Your bones will thank you!
1 Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(8):621-8.
2 J Bone Miner Res. 2003 Jul;18(7):1206-16.
3 Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2003 Jun;68(6):387-98.
4 Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001 Mar;4(2):105-10.