Bone undergoes constant remodelling which fluctuates throughout life depending on the life stage requirement. In adolescence, there is a greater occurrence of formation which exceeds break down. Bone density is decreased as we age, particularly past the age of 30 where bone breakdown overtakes formation, leaving bones more susceptible to fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis. This is especially the case in women going through menopause where their oestrogen levels start to deplete. Up until the age of 30, people should be actively taking steps to insure good bone mineral density so that, as it declines, effects aren’t as bad.
Other than being the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is most associated with bones. 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in bones and teeth. Crystals of calcium give bone strength and structure. Calcium hydroxyapatite is a microcrystalline form that has been found to be much more effective at slowing bone loss than other forms. In addition, consumption of this particular type has shown less circulating blood calcium levels and contains most of the necessary building blocks to construct bone tissue.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and considered a hormone to the body. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and controls serum levels to allow for normal mineralisation of bone. Vitamin D also can control osteoblast (bone building cells) and osteoclasts (bone absorbing cells) and therefore bone remodelling. Rickets is a condition in children (osteomalacia in adults) whereby bone becomes weak, brittle and misshaped due to vitamin D deficiency. In osteoporosis, a condition whereby the bones become porous, vitamin D is vital for maintaining calcium absorption.
As well as calcium, Vitamin D helps the body absorb other minerals needed for bone metabolism such as manganese and zinc.
Low dietary intake of vitamin K has been found to result in a higher risk of bone fractures. Calcium and vitamin D have had notably the most obvious vitamins and minerals to be used in bone health by facilitating bone mineral turn over. Vitamin K2 has more recently been acknowledged as working synergistically and supporting this process too. When supplementing vitamin D, the body creates vitamin K2-dependant proteins (osteocalcin) that move. K2 is needed to activate these proteins to move calcium into the bones and out of arteries and soft tissue. K2’s ability to move calcium from the arteries is important as a preventative against atherosclerosis and calcification of the arteries.