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5 Vital Nutrients for Healthy Bones
Posted on 17th February 2022

5 Vital Nutrients for Healthy Bones

Several factors contribute to bone health, and the most important among them are nutrients. Our body requires certain nutrients to maintain bone health. These essential nutrients are obtained from a well-balanced diet.

There are six essential nutrients that you need to consume to maintain optimal bone health.

1. Calcium:

Calcium keeps the bones healthy and strong. It also plays an important role in muscle control and blood circulation. If we do not consume enough calcium, our bodies begin to remove it from the bones. This gradually weakens the bones and causes osteoporosis.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Calcium1

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 200 mg 200 mg
7-12 months* 260 mg 260 mg
1-3 years 700 mg 700 mg
4-8 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
9-18 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
19-70 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
>70 + years 1,200 mg 1,200 mg

Sources of Calcium:
Calcium is present in large quantities in milk, cheese, and yogurt. Non-dairy sources of calcium include sardines and salmon, kale, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, chia seeds, etc.
2. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium. Without adequate vitamin D, the body can’t produce calcitriol hormone. This is in turn, leads to insufficient calcium absorption from food. Vitamin D deficiency leads to weakened bones and interferes with the formation of newer bones.
Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamin D2

Age Male Female
0-12 months* 10 mcg (400 IU) 10 mcg (400 IU)
1-13 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)
14-70 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)
>70 years 20 mcg (800 IU) 20 mcg (800 IU)

Sources of Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is obtained through direct sunlight, diet, and supplements. Foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk also contain vitamin D.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help reduce the risk of inflammatory arthritis. It is essential for the production of collagen in the bone matrix. It also scavenges free radicals that damage bones.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamin C3

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 40 mg 40 mg
7-12 months* 50 mg 260 mg
1-3 years 15 mg 700 mg
4-8 years 25 mg 1,000 mg
9-13 years 45 mg 1,300 mg
14-18 years 75 mg 65 mg
18+ 90 mg 75 mg

Sources of Vitamin C:

Citrus fruits, red and green pepper, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes, and tomatoes are natural sources of vitamin C. Some fortified foods and beverages can also serve as a source of vitamin C.

4. Magnesium:

Magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones. It increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.7

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Magnesium

Age Male Female
1-3 years 80 mg/day 80 mg/day
4-8 years 130 mg/day 130 mg/day
9-13 years 240 mg/day 240 mg/day
14-18 years 360 mg/day 400 mg/day
19-30 years 310 mg/day 400 mg/day
31 years and over 320 mg/day 420 mg/day

Sources of Magnesium:

Green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, soya, and whole-grain cereals are the natural sources of magnesium.

5. Phosphorus:

Most phosphorus is in the bones and teeth. It plays an important role in energy (ATP) generation and other essential cellular processes.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Phosphorous4

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 100 mg 100 mg
7-12 months* 275 mg 275 mg
1-3 years 460 mg 460 mg
4-8 years 500 mg 500 mg
9-18 years 1,250 mg 1,250 mg
18+ years 700 mg 700 mg

Sources of Phosphorous:

Cereals, dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, poultry, legumes, nuts, grains, and vegetables are rich sources of phosphorous.

6. Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight inflammation. Studies have proven that omega-3 fatty acids can help in bone preservation in elderly females and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. These fatty acids improve bone quality by preventing bone decay and augmenting bone mineralization.6

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Omega-3 fatty acids:

Age Male Female
0-6 months* 0.5 mg 0.5 mg
7-12 months* 0.5 mg 0.5 mg
1-3 years 0.7 mg 0.7 mg
4-8 years 0.9 mg 0.9 mg
9-13 years 1.2 mg 1.0 mg
14+ years 1.6 mg 1.1 mg

Therefore, you need to consume all five essential nutrients to ensure the best possible health. You should seek medical advice and discuss your medical conditions and the medications with your doctor before taking any nutrient supplements.


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