Vitamin D is essential for bone health
Vitamin D is necessary for most people’s bone health and to protect against osteoporosis .
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are essential to building stronger, denser bones early in life and to keeping bones strong and healthy later in life. Calcium and vitamin D are the two most important nutrients for bone health.
Vitamin D plays a critical role in regulating bone health. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the intestine as well as the activity of bone building cells. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium in the blood and strengthen the skeleton. Your body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium. Children need vitamin D to build strong bones, and adults need it to keep bones strong and healthy. When people do not get enough vitamin D, they can lose bone, have lower bone density, and are more likely to break bones when they are older.
About 10 million Americans already have osteoporosis, and 34 million are at risk. Contrary to popular belief however, low intake of calcium is not the primary cause of osteoporosis. While Americans have the highest calcium intake in the world, we also have one of the highest hip fracture rates in the world. The standard American diet causes much of the consumed calcium to be lost in the urine. Excess salt, caffeine, sugar, and animal products leach calcium out of bones and promote urinary calcium loss.
In contrast, vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts, and seeds are rich sources of calcium and other important minerals, and do not promote the urinary excretion of calcium. A three cup serving of raw, chopped greens – like kale, bok choy, or collards – provides the same amount of calcium (or more) as one cup of whole milk. Only 32% of the calcium in the cup of cow’s milk can be absorbed by the human body compared to about 50% for many green vegetables.
Medical studies show vitamin D is more effective than calcium for treating osteoporosis. The main source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is formed by the action of sunlight (UV light) on the skin. A deficiency of vitamin D can contribute to osteoporosis because without it, calcium will not be fully absorbed by your body. The most natural way to obtain vitamin D is through sun exposure, but because of indoor jobs, our climate, and skin cancer risk it is virtually impossible to achieve optimal levels of Vitamin D from sunshine alone. Vitamin D supplementation is necessary for most people.
Vitamin D is found in small quantities in a few foods (eg fatty fish -salmon, herring, mackerel, liver, eggs, fortified foods). However adequate vitamin D is unlikely to be achieved through diet alone.
People who do not get enough vitamin D should consider taking a supplement to keep your bones health. Multivitamin for men is combined with vitamin D, calcium and all essential vitamins and minerals you need.
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