Which Supplement Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

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Which Supplement Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

Can Supplements Aid in the Management or Prevention of Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that affects bone density and quality, increasing the risk of fractures and lowering quality of life. Bone is in a constant state of being broken down and reformed. This is known as bone remodeling, and it necessitates an adequate supply of certain nutrients.

As a result, some people may wonder if certain dietary supplements, in addition to a healthy diet in general, can help prevent and manage the disease. This article looks at the research behind 11 supplements used to manage and prevent osteoporosis, as well as any potential drawbacks.

D- Vitamin

Vitamin D is necessary for bone health. It is essential for calcium absorption and helps to regulate bone turnover. Given the scarcity of vitamin D food sources, which include fatty fish and fortified dairy products and cereals, most people get their vitamin D from sunlight.

Getting enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure, on the other hand, can be difficult during the winter and for those who spend the majority of their time indoors. Furthermore, people who live far north or south of the equator are more likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to limited sun exposure for up to 2–5 months per year.

One study of 400 older adults discovered that people with osteoporosis were more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Over an 8-week period, daily intake of a vitamin D supplement was linked to a lower incidence of osteoporosis in those deficient in vitamin D.

However, while vitamin D supplements may be beneficial for people who are deficient in vitamin D, research has not shown that they are beneficial once blood levels are at or above sufficiency levels. The current RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU for children and adults aged 1–70, and 800 IU for pregnant or breastfeeding adults and those aged 71 and up.

A daily dose of 400–800 IU of vitamin D may be sufficient to reduce the risk of bone fractures and maintain adequate blood levels, according to research. Surprisingly, one study of 311 healthy adults discovered that high doses of 4,000 and 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day resulted in a greater loss of bone mass density over three years than a lower 400 IU daily dose.

Nonetheless, while research suggests that lower doses may be better in the long run for bone density, higher doses may be required temporarily in cases of severe vitamin D deficiency.

Given that it is estimated that half of the population has low vitamin D levels, it is worth speaking with a healthcare provider if you are concerned about not getting enough vitamin D throughout the year.

Magnesium (Mg)

Magnesium is a necessary mineral that is involved in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. It is also beneficial to bone health, with approximately 60% of this mineral found in bone tissue. The RDI for magnesium is 310–320 mg per day for people aged 19–30, and 400–420 mg per day for those aged 31 and up. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, needs are slightly increased.

According to one study of 51 postmenopausal women, 40% of those with osteoporosis or low bone density had low circulating magnesium levels. Furthermore, several studies in adults have found that people who consume more magnesium through their diet or supplements have higher bone mass density than those who consume less.

While adequate magnesium intake has been linked to increased bone density, research on whether this benefit translates into a lower risk of bone fractures is conflicting. More research on the role and optimal dose of magnesium supplements on the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures is needed, so it's best to focus on eating magnesium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

If you are concerned about meeting your magnesium requirements solely through diet, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized magnesium supplement recommendations.

The element boron

Boron is a trace element that has been discovered to be important in bone growth and maintenance. It has an impact on the utilization of other nutrients required for bone health, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

There is currently no established RDI for boron. Nonetheless, current research suggests that 1–3 mg of boron per day may be beneficial. An older study in postmenopausal women discovered that taking 3 mg of boron per day significantly reduced calcium and magnesium excretion in the kidneys.

Furthermore, one study in rats with osteoporosis discovered that boron supplementation significantly reduced bone loss. However, human research confirming this effect is currently lacking. Furthermore, one study in rats with osteoporosis discovered that boron supplementation significantly reduced bone loss. However, human research confirming this effect is currently lacking. Due to the fact that dried plums are one of the best dietary sources of boron, little research has been conducted to investigate the relationship between dried plum intake and bone density in humans.

One study, for example, found that consuming 50–100 grams of dried plums per day resulted in significant bone density improvements over 6 months in 48 postmenopausal women with low bone density. While the exact mechanism is unknown, it is thought that the boron content in dried plums may help to explain why these fruits have been shown to benefit bone health.

Boron is rarely found in multivitamin supplements. As a result, foods like prunes, raisins, and dried apricots may make it easier to consume it.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for maintaining bone strength and preventing bone breakdown. Low vitamin K levels have been linked to an increased risk of bone fractures and low bone density.

There is currently no RDI for vitamin K. Instead, the adequate intake (AI) for adults over the age of 18 is set at 90 mcg for women and 120 mcg for men. While research suggests that adequate vitamin K intake protects bone density and fractures, it is unclear whether vitamin K supplements protect bone health.

Given that more research on the role of vitamin K supplements in osteoporosis and related fractures is needed, it may be best to consume vitamin K-rich foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It is important to note that vitamin K can interact with a variety of medications, including blood thinners such as warfarin. As a result, it's critical to consult with your doctor before taking vitamin K supplements.

Isoflavones derived from soy

Isoflavones are a type of antioxidant that is also known as phytoestrogens. They have a similar structure to the hormone estrogen and can bind to and activate estrogen receptors in your body. Estrogen levels in the body decrease during menopause. This decrease in estrogen can cause bone to be broken down faster than it can be formed, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

According to research, soy isoflavones may help combat calcium loss from the bone and slow the rate of bone turnover. One review of 19 studies in postmenopausal women found that taking soy isoflavone supplements increased bone mineral density by 54% and decreased bone resorption markers by 23% when compared to their baseline values.

Similarly, a review of 52 studies found that soy isoflavone supplementation improved bone density in studies that lasted at least a year. While the results are promising, it is important to note the wide variation in dosage and supplement form used across studies. As a result, based on current research, the recommended dosage is quite broad.

It is currently thought that taking 40–110 mg of soy isoflavones per day for at least a year can help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Keep in mind that more research is needed on the differences in dosage requirements across age groups and ethnicities, as well as the duration of supplementation and the form used.


Calcium is an important component of bone tissue that is required for bone strength and structure. In fact, your skeleton stores approximately 99 percent of your body's calcium.

The current RDI for calcium is 700–1200 mg per day, with higher needs during specific life stages such as childhood and adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, women over the age of 50, and all adults aged 70 and up. While adequate calcium intake is important for bone health throughout life, research on the potential benefits of calcium supplements for the prevention and management of osteoporosis is mixed.

A meta-analysis of eight studies found that calcium and vitamin D supplements were associated with a 15–30% lower risk of fractures in both community-dwelling and institutionalized middle-aged and older adults. Another review of 33 studies found that calcium supplements, either alone or in combination with vitamin D, did not reduce the risk of fractures in older adults living at home when compared to a placebo.

Similarly, a meta-analysis of 59 studies discovered that increasing calcium intake through supplements or food sources resulted in small but clinically significant improvements in bone mass density.

Overall, while calcium supplements may be appropriate for people who are at a higher risk of deficiency, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend calcium supplements for the prevention or management of osteoporosis in the general population.

Calcium supplements may pose some risks.

There are some concerns about taking large amounts of calcium in the form of supplements.

Calcium supplements, for example, have been linked to symptoms such as constipation, kidney stones, and other digestive issues. There are also some concerns that they may be harmful to one's heart.

According to one study, people who take calcium supplements have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Other studies, however, have not found a link between calcium supplements and negative heart health outcomes.

Because dietary calcium intake has not been linked to these side effects, it is best to focus on meeting your calcium needs through diet and discussing the possibility of supplementation with your healthcare provider.

7–11 Additional supplements

  • Several trace minerals and elements are important for bone health and may help to increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. They are as follows:
  • Zinc. Zinc is essential for bone development, and higher zinc levels have been linked to higher bone density scores. Furthermore, low zinc levels have been discovered in women with osteoporosis and low bone density.
  • Selenium. Observational studies have found a link between increased selenium intake and improved bone density and osteoporosis risk. However, research on the efficacy of selenium supplements is limited. Copper. According to one study, there is a link between low copper levels and lower bone density measurements. Copper research for osteoporosis prevention and management, on the other hand, is limited and inconsistent.
  • Manganese. Observational studies have linked adequate manganese levels to bone density benefits. More research is required to fully understand the role of manganese supplements in bone health.
  • Silicon. Silicon supplements have been shown in animal studies to increase bone density and reduce fragility. Human research, on the other hand, is limited to a few older studies.

While it's critical to get enough of these minerals in your diet, more research is needed to determine whether these supplements can help protect against osteoporosis and related fracture risk. Several herbal supplements are also used to treat osteoporosis in alternative medicine. However, research does not currently support the efficacy of these supplements in humans.

Who is likely to benefit from supplements?

A healthy, balanced diet is generally recommended for meeting your nutrient needs for bone health. Some people, however, may find it difficult to do so. Vitamin D, in particular, can be difficult to obtain solely through diet.

While it can be synthesized from sunlight at certain times of the year, vitamin D supplements may be indicated for people who have limited sunlight exposure due to their location, lifestyle, or the time of year.

Furthermore, due to natural changes in the skin that occur with age, older adults may be less effective at synthesizing vitamin D. Other nutrients important for bone health, such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, and soy isoflavones, are abundant in foods.

However, the following situations may necessitate the use of these nutrient supplements:

  • restricted food access
  • a chronically low appetitenutrient malabsorption conditionspregnancy and breastfeeding
  • gastric bypass surgery is one type of bariatric surgery.
  • vegetarian or vegan diets
  • Dietary restrictions

It's important to remember that many supplements can have unintended side effects and interact with medications.Overall, if you're concerned about getting enough nutrients to support bone health, consult with your doctor for personalized recommendations before taking supplements.

Last word

Osteoporosis cannot be cured or prevented solely through nutrition. It can, however, play an important role in disease management and prevention. While certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, magnesium, boron, and vitamin K, are important for bone health, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of taking them as supplements. If you're worried about getting enough nutrients for bone health from your diet alone, consult with a trusted healthcare provider for specific recommendations before taking any supplements.

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