Bones form the structure for our bodies, providing the foundation for the rest of our many biological systems. Given their importance in our ability to survive and thrive, bones require proactive care through proper nutrition.**
Unfortunately, many people are not getting enough bone nutrition: The National Institutes of Health have reported that many Americans lack the necessary levels of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium in their diets. Notably, according to the National Institutes of Health, 55% of men and 78% of women aged 20+ fail to get the recommended amount of calcium. Plus, a study published by the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine in 2009 revealed that 75% of Americans do not get enough vitamin D. Older adults and vegans are especially prone to deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D and magnesium, making bone health supplements important for these populations. Researchers have also suggested bone health supplements’ importance in younger populations, since most people start losing bone mass around age 30.**
Popular bone health supplement products will almost always supply the most prevalent mineral in bones and teeth: Calcium. Along with vitamin D, calcium is one of the primary nutrients for ideal bone health. The FDA has acknowledged this mineral and vitamin for bone health in a qualified claim, "Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis." The FDA has also approved a statement that accounts for aging, with the claim, "Adequate calcium and vitamin D as part of a healthful diet, along with physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life."**
Among the most significant bone health supplements are:
Vitamin D3: A natural form of vitamin D, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a potent version of the nutrient that features excellent bioavailability. D3's support of the skeletal system extends to bone strength and density in part because it assists with calcium absorption.**
Calcium: Calcium is renowned for optimizing skeletal system wellness while upholding peak bone density. This attribute is specifically important for seniors, since bone mass density declines during the course of aging. Calcium bone supplements are sometimes presented as highly absorbable coral calcium and easy-to-digest calcium citrate. Calcium absorption is facilitated by vitamin D and magnesium.**
Magnesium: A mineral that is crucial to overall well-being, magnesium is a key component of teeth and bone health, working together with calcium. As it facilitates and optimizes calcium absorption, magnesium promotes bone health and strength.**
Red Mineral Algae: Sourced from a specific variety of seaweed found off the coasts of Iceland and Ireland, red mineral algae is abundant in calcium and magnesium, with more than 70 additional trace minerals – a natural mineral blend for bone health.**
Boron: Typically available in the diet in trace amounts, boron optimizes the body’s ability to metabolize minerals, encouraging bone health, skeletal strength, and joint integrity.**
Strontium Citrate: A common form of the trace mineral strontium, strontium citrate is close in molecular structure to calcium and imparts many of the same bone health benefits.**
Bone Health Products
Bone health products are available from a number of sources, including coral and algae, and offered in various forms, including capsules, softgels, tablets, liquids, chewables and powders. Some bone health formulas include multiple bone-supportive nutrients, often calcium with magnesium and/or vitamin D3. Bone supplements are particularly useful since research has shown that many are lacking ideal levels of bone health nutrients in their regular diet, notably vitamin D3, calcium and magnesium.**
Bone Health Products Directions for Use
Before starting any routine supplementation, including bone health supplements, talk to your health care provider. The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) of vitamin D3, calcium and magnesium vary based on age and gender. For all adults ages 19-70, the vitamin D RDA is 15 mcg (600 IU). Those over 70 should get 20 mcg (800 IU). For adults ages 19 to 50, the calcium RDA is 1,000 mg. This amount remains the same for male ages 51 to 70, but females in that age range, as well as all adults over age 70, are advised to take 1,200 mg. Men ages 19 and 30 should receive 400 mg of magnesium daily, while women require only 310 mg. For males 31 and older, 420 mg is the RDA; females in this category should get 320 mg per day. There are no RDAs for the bone health supplements red mineral algae, boron and strontium citrate, and levels range from product to product. **
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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