Which Foods Improve Bone Density?


Most women, when given the news that they have osteopenia or osteoporosis, start cramming calcium into their bodies. But there is so much more to bone loss than simply calcium. The primary focus needs to be on lifestyle choices. One study, published in 2006 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found a high consumption of colas (high in phosphates) to be associated with low bone density. Daily cola consumers had between 3.7 and 5 percent lower density compared to women who had only one cola per month. Smoking, cow-sourced cheese consumption and high intake of animal protein were also linked to lower bone density in women.

Another study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Science in 2007 looked at lifestyle choices and found that drinking green tea along with exercise were related to better bone density. Yet another study published in the Annals of Nutritional Metabolism in 2005 looked at over 8,000 female subjects and found that a high intake of vegetable proteins was associated with higher bone density values. Calcium intake had a positive effect on bone density but was less effective in subject who consumed high amounts of animal protein.

A large number of studies demonstrated the benefit of magnesium along with vitamin D to enhance the uptake of calcium supplementation. The Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that vitamin K is important for the matrix GLA protein, which is the foundation for strong bones. The conclusion is that the combination of vitamin K and vitamin D can increase bone mass and significantly reduce bone loss. Another study in the Journal of Obstetric and Gynecologic Research found women who took 45mg of vitamin K two times per day had fewer fractures.

Other nutrients have value as well. Studies found a link between high dietary potassium and along with vitamin B12 levels was related to high bone density. Research appearing in the Journal of Internal Medical Research found women with osteoporosis tend to have lower zinc, copper, vitamin C and magnesium levels.

I really like OsteoB Plus from Biotics Research. This compilation of nutrients is a broad-based and well-absorbed product for bone health.


About Deborah Arneson

Deborah Arneson holds a B.S. in Food Science, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed clinical nutritionist. A veteran in her field, she specializes in solving hormonal imbalances: increasing energy, focus, moods, eliminating anxiety, constipation and sleep problems though one on one nutrition counseling and Ayurvedic practices.