Bone is dynamic and is constantly rebuilding itself therefore we need to ensure that we have good levels of all the nutrients needed to make strong bones.
Most of us are aware of how important calcium is for bone, but the calcium is placed on a matrix of other nutrients to ensure it is strong and supple. Because calcium is one mineral we can usually get enough of from our diet, we need relatively little calcium compared to the other minerals which hold it in place – nutrients such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, Boron, Zinc, Silica and Phosphorous, all of which need to be available in the correct amounts.
The role Vitamin D has played in skeletal health has been known for years, but what we are now realising is that Vitamin D tends to be very deficient in northern climes such as the UK. We also need high amounts of Magnesium to make sure that calcium is properly placed into the bones and not elsewhere in the body.
Bone density also depends on how much the skeleton is being used, in other words, the bones will only be as strong as they need to be. Someone who takes regular weight bearing exercise, even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day, may have a healthier bone structure than someone who’s very sedentary. So building strong bones needs both good nutrition with all the minerals we’ve mentioned, and daily weight bearing exercise, such as a brisk walk.
Where two bones meet to make a joint, there is a cartilage cushion, which prevents the bones rubbing against each other. This cartilage is prone to wear and tear as well as damage from a variety of sources.
Formulated to help maintain healthy joint mobility, Nature’s Sunshine’s EverFlex provides important nutrients, which are the building blocks for healthy cartilage in joints. Cartilage is the ‘shock absorber’ for the joints, protecting bone from wear and tear. The EverFlex formula offers the combined benefits of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM in one convenient tablet.
Ligaments & Tendons
Ligaments and tendons are known as connective tissue, and their structure is pretty much the same. Tendons attach muscle to bone, and ligaments attach bone to bone in joints, so they need to have a bit more elasticity.
Ligaments are mostly made from a protein called collagen, and to make collagen you need vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for normal collagen formation, for the normal functioning of bones, cartilage, gums, teeth and skin. A severe lack of Vitamin C leads to scurvy, and pain in the limbs and joints.
Muscles hold the skeleton together and enable movement. Men are made up of about 42% muscle, and women about 36%. Muscle and connective tissue is made up largely from proteins, so we have to make sure we not only get a good balance of proteins from our diet, but also that we can absorb and make use of it. Skeletal Strength includes enzymes to help with this process.
Muscle cramps can happen when our ratio of calcium to magnesium is out of balance; Vitamin B6 deficiency can also contribute. Aching muscles can happen for the same reason, or due to excess acidity. Exercise, particularly strenuous exercise, can lead to muscle being broken down in order to provide energy, so it is important that both protein and nutrients are available to build them back up.