Vitamin D and Bone Health

Vitamin D and Bone Health

You’ve probably heard more times than you can count that vitamin D is essential for your health, namely your mood and immune function. But vitamin D has another enormously important health benefit that doesn’t get as much publicity: bone health. 

Yes, vitamin D is absolutely essential for bone health. Getting enough of it, especially during your younger years, can stave off degenerative bone conditions, such as osteoporosis and bone-related aches and pains. 

At Southern Pain Specialists, we whole-heartedly believe in the healing power of a nutritious diet, which is why we’re here to tell you exactly how vitamin D works to support bone health. 

What exactly is vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body stores it inside your fat cells. It’s common to be deficient in vitamin D, because not many foods contain it. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, but not many people get enough sunlight every day, because modern life requires being inside often due to school or work. 

Just like any other vitamin, if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you can be at risk for deficiency symptoms or health conditions, such as lethargy, irritability, sadness, lack of motivation, bone pain, muscle weakness, and, ultimately, weakened bones. 

How does vitamin D support bone health?

Vitamin D and calcium have an intricate relationship that supports healthy, strong bones. Together, they’re arguably the most important nutrients for bone health. Calcium is a mineral that you’ve likely heard is essential for bone health, but this is true only if vitamin D is present to help your body use the calcium that’s circulating. 

In simple terms, it works like this: You get calcium from foods or supplements, and it moves through your digestive tract. With the help of vitamin D3 ― a form of vitamin D ― your body absorbs this calcium into your blood and bones. If you don’t have enough vitamin D3, your body can’t absorb adequate calcium, and it goes to waste.

So, you can meet or exceed the recommended daily intake for calcium, but if you don’t have enough vitamin D, your calcium intake doesn’t mean much. 

This is why it’s important to consume a nutritious diet from a variety of food sources, get enough sunlight each day, and supplement smartly based on your doctor’s recommendations. The reason you need to get your doctor’s guidance on consuming enough vitamins and minerals is that supplementing too much or with low-quality products can result in just as many problems as not getting enough vitamins and minerals.