Throughout your lifetime, your body constantly breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone. Bone loss occurs when your body does not form enough new bone to replace the old bone that has been reabsorbed by your body. A variety of factors, such as diet, age, corticosteroids, low calcium and vitamin D levels, lack of exercise, certain medical conditions, menopause and smoking can affect bone growth and development. Along with your prescribed treatment plan, regular exercise, lifestyle changes and certain vitamins may encourage bone growth.
Vitamin A improves immune system function and protects your bones from permanent damage, according to Carolyn DeMarco, M.D., author of “Bone-Building Solution.” DeMarco adds that vitamin A strengthens weak bones, supports bone health, aids in bone growth, increases bone density and lowers your risk of osteoporosis, a disease that can eventually lead to brittle bones. Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, cod liver oil, fortified butter, raw carrots, eggs, hard cheeses, fresh creams, sweet potatoes, spinach and apricots.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and protects your body from toxins, infections, diseases and viruses that can damage your bones, according to Dr. Steve Blake, author of “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified.” Blake adds that vitamin C aids in bone formation and growth, repairs bone fractures, increases red blood cell production, hydrates your bones and joints, prevents brittle bones, carries oxygen, nutrients and blood to your bones and reinforces weak bones by increasing the amount of collagen in your body. Foods rich in vitamin C include blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, tomatoes, spinach, avocados, apples, bananas, kale, Swiss chard and spinach.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphate, aids in bone formation, strengthens weak bones, repairs bone fractures, enhances immune system function, rebuilds bone tissue, improves the condition of your bones and lowers your risk of osteoporosis and rickets, a bone disorder that occurs when a vitamin D deficiency causes weak and soft bones, according to Tori Hudson, N.D., author of “Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness.” Foods rich in vitamin D include cod liver oil, tuna, fortified orange juice, eggs, sardines, fortified yogurt, milk, beef liver, margarine and Swiss cheese.
Vitamin K regulates blood clot formation, builds your bones, aids in bone formation and growth, increases bone density, prevents fractures and lowers your risk of osteoporosis, according to Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D., author of “Nutrition and Fitness: Mental Health, Aging and the Implementation of a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity Lifestyle.” Foods rich in vitamin K include sweet potatoes, cabbage, eggs, tofu, peaches, grapes, bananas, carrots, tomatoes, navy beans and blueberries.
Calcium is a mineral that supports bone health, increases bone mass, prevents bone loss, builds bones, reduces your risk of fractures, rickets and osteoporosis, according to Blake. Foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, fried figs, kale, mustard greens, soy nuts, salmon, turnip greens, ice cream, pudding, fortified cereal bars, fortified soymilk, fortified waffles, tofu and sardines with bones.
- “Osteoporosis: Clinical Guidelines for Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management”; Sarah Hall Gueldner, D.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N.; 2007
- “Optimizing Bone Mass and Strength: The Role of Physical Activity and Nutrition During Growth”; Robin M. Daly, M.S., Ph.D. and Moira A. Petit, M.S., Ph.D.; 2007
- “Bone-Building Solution”; Carolyn DeMarco, M.D.; 2008
- “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified”; Steve Blake, Sc.D.; 2007
- “Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness”; Tori Hudson, N.D.; 2007
- “Nutrition and Fitness: Mental Health, Aging and the Implementation of a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity Lifestyle”; Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D.; 2005
- striped vitamines image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.