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Bone Health: Significance of Vitamin D and Calcium

In human beings, bones are living tissues with the ability to grow. According to The National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) (2011), a bone undergoes continuous cycles that involve formation activities; osteoblast and osteocytes. The bone also undergoes resorption through a process called an osteoclast. The bones have three types of cells namely: osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes.

The osteoblasts cells facilitate the growth of bones osteocytes regulate levels of minerals circulation in bones. The bones are malleable thus can undergo modification through diet, disease, exercise, or injury. Therefore, this report seeks to elaborate on the significance of Vitamin D and calcium to the health of bones. It also gives an overview of osteoporosis and ways that strong bones can be maintained.

Significance of Vitamin D and calcium to the health of bones

Vitamin D substantially contributes to the formation of the bone matrix and facilitates the maturation of bones. According to Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2007), vitamin D influences the differentiation of cell precursors in bones. It also has the function of regulating calcium and metabolism while combined with parathyroid hormone. Calcium is in turn used for the growth of bones. Therefore, Vitamin D contributes to increased absorption of calcium into the body.

The abundant mineral in the human body has Calcium which is approximately 1.2 kg while much of it is in the bones and teeth of human beings. Supplements of calcium contribute to the reduction of bone loss and improvement of antiresorptive therapy efficacy that focuses on increasing the mass of bones. The intake of calcium is substantial to increasing the response of the skeleton to exercise. This enhances the impact of calcium in areas of weight-bearing in bones. The intake of calcium at menarcheal age or in the growth stage has a substantial effect on peak bone mass (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, 2007).

Calcium is also substantial for new bones formation. There is a greater absorption of calcium through the intestinal mucosa due to an increased need for bones. Calcium has pools that are miscible in the blood thus causing slow turnover for bones. Numerous factors control the balance of calcium in the human body like an exchange that involves the intestine, skeleton, and kidney to regulate intake and output of calcium thus influencing external balance.

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel (2000) explain that both calcium and vitamin D are nutrients that have a substantial contribution to the health of bones. Therefore, there should be avoidance of suboptimal intake of these nutrients, and fortification of Vitamin D affects groups like an adolescent females, amenorrhea, and postmenopausal women. The nutrients also make a significant contribution to the prevention of fractures in the elderly.

However, calcium intake alone cannot facilitate the effective reduction of fractures. On the other hand, the supplementation of only vitamin D is not effective in the prevention of fractures. Therefore, these two nutrients are required to attain desired results. The replete of calcium at the femur relates to mineral augmentations depending on amounts of vitamin D.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a form of condition involving loss of bone tissues leading to low bone mass. The disease causes bones to be fragile and weak hence increasing the risk of fracturing especially in the wrist and hip bone. Osteoporosis is common among elderly women and the condition commences earlier in patients’ life. However, sufficient intake of calcium facilitates the building of strong bones at the peak bone density at the age of 25 years. This enables bones to remain strong for the rest of years in a person’s life (The National Osteoporosis Society, 2006).

Ways that strong bones can be maintained

There are ways in which a person can maintain strong bones in their lifetime. One of these ways is avoidance of alcohol. The habits of heavy drinking also contribute to chances of fracturing and bone loss due to the risk of falling. The other way to maintain strong bones is limiting the use of medication that weakens bones. Medicine like corticosteroids is for treatment of certain health problems, but it has negatives side effects to bones. One can address the doctor about that issue in order to find an alternative medication for the same problem that has no negative effects to their bones (NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases, 2012).

The other way to maintain strong bones is engaging in practices that are not weight bearing like cycling, swimming, and jogging. The exercises help to increase the flexibility of the body thus reducing chances of bones fracturing in incidences of falling. There are environmental factors that increase or reduce the risk of falling thus causing fracturing of bones. Therefore, one should avoid exposure to risky conditions by wearing supportive shoes (NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases, 2012).

References

National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel. (2000). Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy. NIH Consens Statement. Web.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). (2011). Healthy bones matter. Web.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases. (2012). Once Is Enough: A Guide to Preventing Future Fractures. Web.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. (2007). Update on Vitamin D. Position Statement by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Web.

The National Osteoporosis Society. (2006). What is osteoporosis? Web.