Bone Health & Vitamins
Did you know that vitamin D and calcium are the two most important nutrients for bone health? They help to build strong, dense bones in children and also help to keep them heathy and strong as we get older.
Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium from our diet. Lack of vitamin D can lead to lower bone density and make us more prone to brittle bones as we get older.
Sources of Vitamin D
Your skin makes vitamin D from the ultra-violet light in sunlight. Your body stores the vitamin and uses it later.
The amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on how much your skin is exposed to sunlight, it also depends on other factors, namely, time of day, season, where you live and your skin pigmentation.
We hear about children spending more and more time indoors on their computers and spending less time outside. We also know that, due to concerns about skin cancer and the use of sunscreens (which play a very important role in our skin health), that our skin is more protected from sunlight nowadays. As a result, we may have to obtain vitamin D from other sources such as the food we eat (for example fish and other food products that have vitamin D added to them such as cereals) and also from vitamin supplements.
Possible signs of Vitamin D deficiency:
- Muscle/joint pain & weakness
- bone pain
- tiredness or fatigue
As well as carrying out other important functions, calcium is a mineral that helps to build bones and keep them healthy. About 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth. Each day, we lose calcium through our hair, skin, nails, etc. However, our bodies cannot produce new calcium so we need to obtain calcium in other ways. If we do not get enough calcium the body takes it from our bones.
Sources of Calcium
The amount of calcium we need each day depends on our age and sex.
Food is the best source of calcium. Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are high in calcium. Some green vegetables, juices, breakfast foods, soymilk, cereals, and breads also contain good levels of calcium.
Another source is from vitamin supplements. However, you should aim to get the recommended daily amount of calcium you need from food in the first instance and take supplements only if needed to make up for any shortfall. If you get enough calcium from the foods you eat, there is no need to take a supplement.
Speak to your Health Care Provider
Speak to your GP or your pharmacist about the best vitamins and the correct dose for your bone health and about any side effects that you may experience. If you need them, always follow the instructions carefully and, for the best results, remember to take them regularly.
At Teddington Osteopaths we are all about healthy bones, joints and muscles. Feel free to call one of our team for further advice or to book an appointment Tel: 020 8977 3295.
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