How do I maintain healthy bones and joints?
Two nutrients in particular-calcium and vitamin D-are needed for strong bones. If you find it hard to reach your daily calcium goal-despite drinking milk and calcium-fortified juice, or eating yogurt and cheese-it may be time to think about calcium supplements.
Calcium combines with Vitamin D to absorb calcium, so it’s important to get enough. if you drink milk and take a dailymultivitamin and mineral supplement, you’ll likely get enough Vitamin D. Calcium supplements can interact with some prescription and over-the-counter medications. (29) Calcium also interferes with the absorption of iron. However, you can avoid this by taking your iron and calcium supplements at different meals. (30) Ask your provider about the best time to take your calcium supplement.
You can get vitamin D in three ways: in your skin, from your diet and from supplements. Some experts say it’s not safe to spend any time in the sun, while others believe you should spend 10-15 minutes in the sun, three times a week, to help your body produce the vitamin D you need. You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, beef liver, fatty fish (such as mackerel, salmon and tuna), cod liver oil and fortified products (such as milk, cheese, orange juice, cereals and soy milk). (31)
My joints feel worn out and painful. How can I improve my mobility?
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and SAMe may help improve joint health. When combined, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate help slow the breakdown of cartilage between joint bones. The greatest improvement was seen in people with moderate to severe knee pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine is a basic building block for maintaining joint cartilage and the structure of your joints. It also helps promote overall elasticity, flexibility and mobility of the joints. Glucosamine may be effective in promoting joint comfort and improved functionality. (32)
Chondroitin works with glucosamine when it comes to improving joint health. it is a nutrient found in the connective tissue of the body that helps maintain the structure and function of joint cartilage. Chondroitin lubricates and cushions the joints by creating a shock absorbing space within the cartilage tissues. Not only does this action provide cushioning support, but it also helps protect cartilage from being broken down by enzymes. If you have moderate-to-severe joint pain, ask your healthcare provider if a combined Chondroitin and glucosamine supplement is right for you. (33)
Hyaluronic acid provides lubrication and cushioning for the joints. The eyes and joints contain the largest amounts. (34)
Nearly 50 percent of the body’s supply of magnesium is found in bone. Magnesium helps bones stay strong. (35)
A daily multivitamin fills the vitamin and mineral gaps in your diet. A daily multivitamin may be sufficient for some people, but for others, a multivitamin may lack a needed nutrient or may not provide enough of a nutrient. In such cases, extra supplements may be necessary. (36)
The most important omega-3 fatty acids for your joints are EPA and DHA. Aim for at least two weekly servings of fatty fish, like salmon, halibut, tuna and sardines. (37) If you don’t eat much fish, taking a fish oil supplement may help. (38)
The benefits of SAMe are commonly associated with brain health and mood, but SAMe can also play a role in joint health. SAMe may contribute to the growth and repair of cartilage. Healthy cartilage protects your joints and helps maintain joint comfort. (39) Make sure your SAMe supplement is enteric-coated, which allows it to travel through the stomach to the small intestine where it is absorbed. (40)
|Calcium and vitamin D||Calcium: 1,000 mg per day for adult men and 1,000-1,200 mg for adult women. (41, 67)
Vitamin D: 600 IU per day for adults (42)
|Chondroitin||400 mg three times per day or 600 mg twice per day (43)|
|Glucosamine||1,500 mg per day or 500 mg three times per day (44)|
|Magnesium||420 mg per day for men and 320 mg for women (35)|
|Omega-3 fatty acids||500 mg of EPA/DHA per day. Higher amounts may be taken under a doctor’s supervision, especially if deficiency is present. (45)|
|SAMe||600-1200 mg per day, divided into three doses. Ask your healthcare provider for dosing advice. (46)|