Boost Your Bones Naturally: Why You Should Try Supplements Before Bone Meds

Bone health is crucial in maintaining overall wellbeing, especially as we age. Osteoporosis, a condition where bones become weak and brittle, affects millions of people worldwide. Although medications that build bone strength are available, researchers at the University of Illinois recommend increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D before resorting to prescription drugs.

The power of calcium and vitamin D

A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that individuals were able to make significant improvements in their bone strength simply by taking dietary supplements and eating more nutritious foods. Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients that help maintain bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium is a vital nutrient for building and maintaining strong bones, and our bodies continuously need calcium throughout our lives. Dairy products and certain green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach, are excellent sources of calcium.

Vitamin D plays a critical role in helping the body absorb calcium and maintain strong bones. Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D; however, some people might not get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. Foods such as fatty fish, beef liver, and egg yolks also provide vitamin D. Additionally, many foods and drinks are fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals.

The drawbacks of prescription bone-building medications

Prescription medications to build bone strength are available, but many of them have side effects and limited efficacy. For example, bisphosphonates, which are commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, can increase the risk of hip fractures and jaw necrosis. Furthermore, these drugs disrupt normal bone remodeling by shutting down the osteoclasts, the cells responsible for breaking down old bone to create new bone. As a result, new bone is built on top of old bone, increasing bone density but not always improving the bone’s structural soundness.

The impact of high-sodium diets on bone health

Researchers also pointed out that high-sodium diets may contribute to weak bones. Sodium causes the body to lose calcium through urine, further decreasing bone strength. To maintain optimal bone health, it’s essential to keep sodium intake in check. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day, and ideally 1500 mg per day for adults.

Incorporating calcium and vitamin D-rich foods into your diet

If you’re at risk for osteoporosis, consider incorporating more calcium and vitamin D-rich foods into your diet. Some options include:

  • Low- or non-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Fortified foods like soy milk, bread, crackers, cereal, and orange juice
  • Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Beef liver and egg yolks

The importance of physical activity

In addition to a healthy diet, regular physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining bone health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, and climbing stairs, can help improve bone strength and prevent bone loss.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your bone health and whether supplementation with calcium and vitamin D would be helpful for you. It’s essential to assess your individual needs and risks before starting any new health regimen.

Maintaining bone health is crucial for a happy, active, and fulfilling life. By incorporating calcium and vitamin D-rich foods into your diet and engaging in regular physical activity, you can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and enjoy a healthier, stronger body.