As you age, you naturally lose bone mass. Cases of severe loss result in osteoporosis, which is particularly common in older women. Certain health conditions can also affect bone density. While supplementation cannot completely reverse bone loss, medical professionals do recommend taking certain supplements to help regenerate bone to some extent. Always check with your physician before supplementing with any type of vitamin, mineral or herb. Ideally, you should aim to get the bulk of recommended vitamins and minerals from diet.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D and calcium are among two of the most important substances necessary for bone growth. Calcium directly builds bone and your body needs optimal amounts of vitamin D to maximize calcium absorption. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, you should get at least 1,500mg of calcium daily. The health professional-created non-profit Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education recommends taking calcium hydroxyapatite, the form that has been linked to optimal bone regeneration 1. Take it in divided doses, as your body can only assimilate 500mg at once. You need between 800 and 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
Your bones need vitamin K to produce proteins necessary for regeneration and assist in binding calcium to the bone, according to UMMC. You can typically get the required amount through your diet; rich sources include spinach, broccoli, cabbage and low-fat dairy. If you do not or cannot eat these types of foods, the UMMC recommends supplementing with 150 to 500mcg daily. Use vitamin K supplements with caution if you take anti-coagulant medications; vitamin K works in direct opposition by promoting blood clotting. Talk to your doctor first.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to the UMMC, research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids might promote bone regeneration. Demonstrated actions include increasing calcium absorption and independently promoting bone growth. Suggested dosage is about 4,000mg daily, higher than the daily dose normally recommended for general use; check with your doctor before using fish oil or other fatty acid supplements, especially if you take blood-thinning medications.
Other supplements have been linked to improving bone regeneration including zinc, horsetail, kelp, oat straw and melatonin. Do not use kelp if you have an underactive thyroid due to Hashimoto’s disease cautions AWARE.
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