Aging, arthritis or lack of regular exercise can contribute to a lack of flexibility. Joint and muscle health directly influence flexibility and, according to nutritionists at the University of Hawaii, can be affected by your vitamin intake 1. Moderate doses of specific vitamins have also been found to alleviate arthritis-related discomfort and help maintain bone strength, as well as improving flexibility. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can provide the vitamins your muscles and joints need to stay healthy and flexible.
Vitamin D works with calcium to protect joints and build bone strength, both of which can lead to improved flexibility. Vitamin D is often added to dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, and is also found in fish and fish oils. Your body can also make vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, though make sure to use sunscreen if you are going to be outdoors for a while.
Can Any Supplements Help Stretch Marks?
Several B-vitamins may offer increased flexibility. Some studies suggest that niacin can greatly reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis, according to Nathan Wei, M.D., a board-certified rheumatologist. Vitamin B-5, or pantothenic acid, is provided by foods such as:
- wheat germ
- whole grain cereals
Vitamin B-6 is found in meat, fish, nuts, legumes and bananas.
Vitamin C is “essential for making specific proteins that are part of joint cartilage” and can be “an especially important nutrient for joint health,” according to the University of Hawaii. Foods high in vitamin C include fruits and vegetables such as:
- dark leafy greens
- red peppers
Vitamins That Help Broken Bones
Like vitamin C, vitamin E contain antioxidants, which some research suggests can help with joint health, notes the University of Hawaii. Vitamin E can help alleviate leg cramps and pain associated with osteoarthritis by relieving inflammation. According to the Alive website, vitamin E also prevents internal scarring and helps repair connective tissues.
Can Any Supplements Help Stretch Marks?
Vitamins That Help Broken Bones
Can Certain Vitamins Help Tight Muscles?
Vitamins for Ligament Repair
Which Vitamin Is Good for Pain in the Legs?
How to Rub Vitamin E on the Skin
Vitamin D & Shoulder Pain
Can Certain Vitamins Help Weak Leg Muscles?
Vitamin B-6 & Tendonitis
Vitamins for Varicose Veins
- University of Hawaii at Manoa, ATC: Easy Stretch to Maintain Flexibility
- Dynamic Chiropractic: A Quick Review of Vitamin Toxicity
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- Sunyecz JA. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(4):827-836. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s3552
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- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
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- Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:1129-40.
- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
- Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA, Jr. Association Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Level and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169:384-90.
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
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- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
Based in the Southwest, Linsay Evans writes about a range of topics, from parenting to gardening, nutrition to fitness, marketing to travel. Evans holds a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master of Arts in anthropology.