When considering our bone health, vitamin D and calcium go hand in hand and are both essential for building strong and dense bones. They are the 2 most important nutrients for developing and maintaining strong and healthy bones and we should ensure we get enough calcium and vitamin D throughout life to ensure good bone health from when we are young and as we age.
Calcium is an essential mineral that is necessary for human life. However, we must rely on our calcium intake through our diets as our bodies cannot produce new calcium itself. We must therefore ensure that we are incorporating the best calcium sources into our diets to gain all of its benefits. Food is the best source of calcium, including low-fat and non-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, which are the richest sources. Other foods that contain a lower content of calcium include some juices, breakfast foods, cereals, breads and some bottled waters. Calcium can also be gained through taking supplements, especially if you feel that you are not gaining enough through your diet.
About 99% of our body's calcium is in our bones and teeth, however not only can it help to build strong bones and teeth and keep them healthy, but it can also help our blood clot, enable nerves to send messages and help muscles to contract. Another reason to maintain our body's calcium intake is because we lose calcium every day, which is why we are recommended to have around 1000mg of calcium each day.
No matter how much calcium we gain throughout each day, it could be useless without sufficient amounts of vitamin D. It allows calcium to be absorbed, so therefore plays an essential role in protecting the bones and keeping them strong and healthy. A lack of vitamin D will result in a lack of calcium being absorbed, meaning that you could be vulnerable to lower bone density and higher risk of breaking and losing bone. This is why calcium and vitamin D together can reduce the risk of fractures, breaks and osteoporosis, by keeping up a higher bone density and strength. A deficiency of vitamin D therefore leads to a softening of the bones, impaired bone mineralisation and bone damage. You can take vitamin D tablets to help improve your body's absorption of calcium. Vitamin D tablets can also help to protect your bones from weakening.