Most articles about bone health lead you to believe that all you have to do is to take a calcium supplement or eat a healthy diet that contains calcium, and your bones will get stronger. That is simply not true. Most people are deficient in the requisite nutritional vitamins and minerals to fully absorb calcium into their bones.
The bones in your body are made up of proteins and minerals – roughly half proteins and half minerals. The main protein is collagen, and the primary minerals are calcium and phosphate. Healthy bones have a high bone mineral density. Low bone mineral density can lead to health problems, such as osteoporosis, fractured or broken bones.
There are many advertisements about drinking milk to have healthy bones. Most Americans do not eat enough dietary calcium to build strong bones. If your diet does not have enough calcium, then you need supplements. The kind of calcium counts – calcium carbonate (most widely found in stores) requires food to digest. Calcium citrate can be taken on an empty stomach.
Magnesium makes the absorption process of calcium more efficient in your stomach. Otherwise, you would need to take much higher amounts of calcium to attain the same level of absorption. Over 60% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle weakness and fatigue. As the calcium leaves the stomach, it is absorbed in your duodenum and sent into your bloodstream.
Calcium will not enter your bloodstream unless you have an adequate amount of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is also known as the sunshine vitamin. The lighter your skin color, the more vitamin D3 will be converted in your body per minute of direct sunshine. Vitamin D3 conversion in your body occurs only when you are exposed to Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays of the sun. This is mainly available between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Vitamin D3 cannot be converted from Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which are predominant in the early morning and late afternoon.
Cloud cover, long sleeves shirts, hats, sunblock, skin pigmentation color, latitude and other factors minimize the available sunlight used for vitamin D3 conversion. As a result, over 75 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D3. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test is used to determine the level of vitamin D3 in your body. The normal range, as defined by many medical authorities, is 30-74 ng/mL. I have read several articles that indicate the normal range should be shifted upward to 50-74 ng/mL. Vitamin D3 deficiency means that the digested calcium leaving your stomach will not end up in your bloodstream – it will be processed out of your body with other waste materials.
Calcium absorbed into your bloodstream will not automatically go into your bones, unless you have an adequate amount of vitamin K2. It is required for your body to deposit calcium into your bones. If you are deficient in vitamin K2, your absorbed calcium in your bloodstream will be deposited in your arteries and heart valves – not the place you want calcium to accumulate. With adequate amounts of vitamin K2, the calcium will be deposited into your bones.
As an extra added feature, vitamin K2 will also remove calcium from your arteries and place it in your bones when there is an insufficient amount of available calcium in your bloodstream. Vitamin K2 is made up of several components – MK4 and MK7. Both of these menaquinones (MK4 and MK7) are needed for vitamin K2 to work effectively.
Magnesium and vitamin D3 will help process calcium into your bloodstream. A deficiency in either will minimize or prevent calcium from getting into your bloodstream. A deficiency in vitamin K2 results in calcium being deposited in the wrong places in your body.
For healthy strong bone density, you must have magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 in your system on a daily basis. Otherwise, you might be throwing your money away; or, worse yet, having calcium deposited in your arteries – a condition that could lead to other serious health problems.