In a previous article, we talked about some of the vitamins that are important when it comes to maintaining good bone health. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can get those vital minerals (vita-mins, get it?) using natural supplements.
Why use natural supplements?
Natural supplements are good because it can sometimes be hard to ensure that you are getting everything you need in your diet. Of course, eating a varied, balanced diet is always going to be the best way to get vitamins into your body, but as we just said – that’s not always easy to do.
One of the problems with eating a balanced diet is that it takes a good amount of knowledge to know where everything comes from. You can find plenty of information about what vitamins are in what foods on the internet. That’s where natural supplements come into play. They can help you get all of the good stuff you’d get in a balanced diet, but with all the convenience of a small capsule.
So let’s take a look at some of the supplements out there that can help you with keeping your bones nice and healthy.
Warning: You should always consult with your GP if you have any concerns about taking any of the supplements listed in this article. Some supplements are known to have side effects or contain allergens which can affect different people in different ways. Whilst this is a rare occurrence, it is still recommended to check with a doctor nonetheless.
Glucosamine is a substance found in the fluid around our joints. It is a naturally occurring substance and is available from a variety of different sources. It is found in animal bones, bone marrow, shellfish and fungi.
Glucosamine plays a huge part in building cartilage and is most commonly prescribed to people that suffer from arthritis, particularly those who suffer from osteoarthritis. The main problem here is that glucosamine isn’t something naturally produced by the body (or not produced in sufficient quantities). Another problem here is that it is very difficult to get from food sources as it necessary to intake quite high doses in order to see any difference.
Cartilage is the tough connective tissue between bones that acts as a padding or cushion for bones and joints that helps with movement. Lots of people suffer joint pain and swelling when their cartilage is worn and the bones rub together when they move.
Using Glucosamine can help with this joint pain as this helps to lubricate and nourish the cartilage, which doesn’t regenerate very easily once it has been damaged. There is growing evidence to support that using Glucosamine does help maintain the cartilage in joints and thus can help to prevent or delay the onset of arthritis.
The trick with Glucosamine is to take it regularly, for a relatively long period of time. Taking it for around 4 weeks gives the body to absorb the Glucosamine properly so that it can start making a difference.
Vitamin D3 is another naturally occurring mineral that is found in the body. It is needed, much in the same way that Calcium is needed to help keep our bones strong – it helps prevent the weakening of the bones.
Aside from the benefits to bones, vitamin D3 also provides a huge range of other benefits such as helping to improve mood, supporting a healthy immune system and helping to relieve chronic aches and pains.
The main thing to note with vitamin D3 is that it should be taken together with Calcium. This is because the two can act together to help improve bone density.
Whilst vitamin D3 is usually naturally absorbed from the sun and from some foods, there are a many instances where it may not be possible to get the full amount necessary on a regular basis. These instances include those who live in areas with very little sun exposure (such as northern parts of the US and Canada), people over the age of 50, people with darker skin tones, those who eat a vegan diet, and children who are only fed breast milk.
In these cases, it is important to supplement with a vitamin D3, usually in the form of a tablet.
Manganese is vital for normal development of the bone structure in humans. Low levels of manganese can lead to bone malformation and overall weakness. So it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough Manganese in your diet.
It is generally quite easy to ensure that you get enough Manganese and it is found in whole grains, nuts and seeds. That said, it is estimated that at least 37% of Americans are not getting enough Manganese in their diet and it may be necessary to supplement for this reason.
This is thought to be because the standard American diet relies heavily on refined grains, as opposed to whole grains which provide less than the adequate amount of Manganese for the body.
Considering that Manganese is one of only several trace elements that are essential for bone health, this can obviously cause some serious problems, the biggest of which are Arthritis and Osteoporosis.
It is thought that taking Manganese, along with other important trace elements can help to lessen spinal bone loss in those with Osteoporosis. Click here for more information on the effects and potential benefits of taking Manganese supplements.
So as you can see, there are a few important things you can do to help you maintain healthy bone strength. Of course, you should always look to get most of your vitamins from a healthy, balanced diet. However, as you now know, it is sometimes necessary to use natural supplements to help pick up the slack where a healthy balanced diet may not be sufficient.
Just be sure to always read the labelling on supplement bottles, follow the dosage instructions and always consult a GP if you are unsure or would like more advice.