The TRUTH About Vitamin D and Your Bones
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
If you’ve watched the news lately, you may have noticed that vitamin D has been taking a lashing.
First, some guy hoping to avoid COVID ended up in the hospital after taking 150,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily.
That’s 250 times the recommended daily allowance.
Needless to say, that’s an EXTREMELY high dosage that goes well beyond what the average person would get in a supplement. But the media took the opportunity to label the vitamin “dangerous” anyway.
Next came the results of a big study. It was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
The research followed 25,871 people who took 2,000 IUs of vitamin D daily for five years. The authors say that taking vitamin D didn’t prevent bone fractures in people 55 and older. Specifically, they concluded that supplementing with vitamin D didn’t lower the risk of bone fractures, nonvertebral fractures, or hip fractures.
But there are two critical things you need to know about this study.
The first is that the researchers didn’t separate people who had low vitamin D at the beginning of the study from those who didn’t. It’s a clear mistake.
It’s easy to see that giving people who already have enough vitamin D even more of the nutrient isn’t going to do anything more for their bones. On the other hand, I have a stack of research studies on my desk that prove giving people who DON’T have enough vitamin D more of the nutrient DOES help support their bones.
Your bones require MUCH more than just calcium alone to grow strong and healthy. To build good bones, you need a variety of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and chromium.
But vitamin D has a unique job to do. It helps move calcium into your bone, where it can be put to work building stronger bones.
Vitamin D’s benefits don’t end with bone health, either. This vital vitamin has also been shown to help support:
- Muscle strength
- Skin health
- Blood sugar control
- Heart health
- Brain health
- Immune health
The bottom line is despite the recent media backlash, vitamin D is critical for both your bone and overall health. A simple blood test will reveal if you’re one of the many who are deficient in the vitamin.
But don’t stop with vitamin D. If you want to build and maintain strong, healthy bones as you age, I have more suggestions.
Dr. Scott’s Healthy Bone Plan:
- Protein is the forgotten nutrient when it comes to good bone health. Most proteins help with bone growth, but collagen is essential for building good bones. I take a powdered collagen supplement myself because it’s hard to get enough collagen through diet alone.
- Vitamin C works hand-in-hand with protein to create a collagen matrix that holds all the necessary bone minerals.
- Vitamin K is another often overlooked but essential nutrient for bone building. Studies show it can help increase bone mineral density and reduce fractures. But remember, if you’re on blood thinners, check with your doctor before taking vitamin K.
- Many minerals are also important for bone health, including magnesium, boron, copper, and chromium.
- Exercise doesn’t just help your muscles The extra movement also helps you build strong bones and maintain that strength as you age.
PS: As that guy who loaded up on massive amounts of vitamin D found out, getting too much of a good thing can backfire on you. But D isn’t the only vitamin you can overdo. In fact, too much of this OTHER vitamin could shatter your bones.
“Supplemental Vitamin D and Incident Fractures in Midlife and Older Adults,” N Engl J Med 2022; 387:299-309, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2202106
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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