Posted on 4 August 2022
Best vitamins for bones and joints
Searching for the best vitamins for bones and joints but don’t know where to start? In our guide to bone health supplements and joint supplements, we describe what each does, how they work, how much you should take, and the benefits you could experience.
As we age, the health of our bones and joints can suffer. In extreme cases, it can develop into life-limiting conditions, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. The result can be a lasting loss of freedom, flexibility, and independence.
We can all do more to protect the health of our bones and joints. We should get enough exercise, eat well, and ensure that our bodies are getting the essential vitamins that we need to build stronger bones.
In this guide, we go into detail on the best vitamins for bones and joints.
Before we begin, the information here doesn’t constitute medical advice, and we recommend that everyone who wants to start taking supplements speaks with their doctor.
Our bones and joints are a complex system of tissues that work together to help us move. Wear and tear, ageing and injury can all affect the health of our bones. While we all lose bone density as we age, if we lose too much, our bones can become brittle and break. We may also experience painful joints, known as arthritis.
What vitamins do I need for stronger bones?
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
- Turmeric (Curcumin)
- Fish oil/omega-3 fatty acids
Let’s take a closer look at the best vitamins for bones and joints.
Calcium is well known as a building block of bones. It’s one of the reasons why as children, we were all given a bottle of milk a day. You can find calcium in a wide range of foods, including:
- Dairy products
- Soy milk or soy-based products
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fish with edible bones such as sardines
- Fortified foods and drinks
Adults need 700mg of calcium a day to maintain healthy bones, says the NHS. You should be able to get this from eating a varied diet.
Royal Osteoporosis Society suggests that some people, particularly those being treated for osteoporosis, could benefit from 1000mg per day.
Calcium supplements can be useful for those no restricted diets, including vegetarians and vegans. There are two types of calcium available, calcium citrate and calcium carbonate. There is no evidence to suggest either is more effective than the other, but some may find calcium citrate is easier to absorb in the body.
Taking a little extra calcium won’t do you any harm but taking excessive amounts could harm your bones. You should also speak to a doctor before taking a calcium supplement if you’re already taking prescription medicine.
Many multivitamin supplements will have added calcium. In many cases, this will be sufficient to provide you with the calcium you need alongside a healthy diet.
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because the primary way we can generate it is from exposure to the sun. Considering that, it’s hardly a surprise that so many of us are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the bone-building process. Specifically, Vitamin D, helps our bodies to effectively absorb calcium, which is essential to the bone-building process. No vitamin D, no stronger bones!
You can find vitamin D in some foods, including:
- Red meat
- Liver (not suitable for pregnant women)
- Egg yolks
- Oily fish
- Fortified cereals
- Nut and rice milk
Adults need 10 micrograms (400 International Units or IU) of vitamin D a day, says the NHS. In most cases, it’s impossible to get all this from food.
Vitamin D supplements are recommended by the NHS. Taking a regular dose during the winter can restore healthy levels of vitamin D, keeping our bodies and bones healthy.
There are two types of vitamin D used in supplements:
- D2 (ergocalciferol)
- D3 (cholecalciferol)
Both forms of vitamin D increase the amount of vitamin D in your blood. But Vitamin D3 raises it for longer, which makes it more effective.
People worried about the health of their bones or at risk of experiencing vitamin D deficiency could benefit from taking a higher dose of vitamin D daily. Some people may struggle to get outside or stay in the sunshine and can also benefit from a regular vitamin D supplement.
You can find vitamin D in a multivitamin or as a standalone supplement tablet, spray, or gummies.
Like standing out in the sunshine, there are limits on how much vitamin D you should take. Taking too much for too long could cause a build-up of vitamin D in your body that could have damaging consequences.
Vitamin K plays an important role in stopping our blood from clotting and healing wounds, but it could also help bone health as well. “It is an essential vitamin for bone health, taking part in the carboxylation of many bone-related proteins, regulating genetic transcription of osteoblastic markers, and regulating bone reabsorption,” say scientists.
Put simply, “low dietary intake of both K1 and K2 are associated with a higher risk of fracture and lower BMD.”
You can find vitamin K in a range of foods, including:
- green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli and spinach
- vegetable oils
- cereal grains
The amount of vitamin K you need depends on your size. A good rule of thumb is to take 1mg for each kg in body weight.
You should be able to get all the vitamin K you need from your diet, but you’ll find a range of vitamin K supplements for sale on Stronger Bones. Why? Because some people want to ensure that they get enough of this bone-building vitamin.
You can find vitamin K as a separate supplement or combined with other essential vitamins to provide a boost for your body.
There’s little research performed on the impact of taking too much vitamin K, but you should always be cautious with anything you put in your body. Vitamin K could interact with other prescription medicines, so be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
The body uses magnesium to ensure the parathyroid glands function normally. These glands produce essential hormones that are needed for better bone health.
An estimated 20% of us could be experiencing magnesium deficiency, particularly the elderly – and this could be a problem.
You can get the magnesium you need in a range of foods, including:
- wholemeal bread
The average adult should aim to get the following:
- 300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)
- 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)
Like many vitamins for bone health, many of us want the confidence that we’re getting enough, and that often comes by taking a magnesium supplement. You can take an individual supplement or use a combined bone health supplement (including magnesium alongside other essential vitamins).
Before taking a combination of supplements, ensure you’re not taking too much magnesium. While there are few studies on the long-term impact of taking. High levels of magnesium for bone health, regularly taking high doses of magnesium (more than 400mg) can lead to diarrhoea. You have been warned!
Turmeric contains curcumin, a bright yellow chemical that studies have suggested could help improve bone health. In one study, scientists found that curcumin supplementation increased bone density.
Another study found that “treatment with curcumin was significantly associated with a decrease in the osteoporosis progression.”
So, can curcumin treat osteoporosis? Not quite. The research studies were small, and while the results were positive, they were far from conclusive.
However, there are no side effects reported with taking high levels of curcumin, and so many people are taking a curcumin supplement for bone health.
It’s impossible to consume curcumin in the concentrations needed through food. While turmeric powder is available in every shop, it’s almost impossible to take it in the concentration needed, and even if you could, your body may struggle to absorb it.
Instead, a curcumin supplement is the only reliable way to get the high amounts of curcumin that could be positive for bone health. There are several curcumin supplements on the market, so it’s important to select a high-quality curcumin supplement, such as Naked Pharmacy’s Natruflex.
Glucosamine is one of the building blocks of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Studies have shown that glucosamine supplements can have a positive impact on joint health for some (but not all) patients.
Many people take glucosamine to slow down the breakdown, inflammation, and loss of cartilage. Anti-inflammatories can reduce joint pain in some patients.
You’ll find glucosamine available as a supplement, and there are two types (those made of shellfish and from natural ingredients, such as mushrooms that are suitable for vegetarians).
Be careful when selecting a glucosamine supplement if you’re vegetarian if you’re allergic to shellfish.
As well as taking a glucosamine supplement, you can reduce joint pain by getting enough exercise, using joint pain gels, anti-inflammatory creams, and losing weight (if you need to).
Collagen plays an important role in building joint cartilage, and some studies have shown that it can reduce joint pain. The evidence on the impact and benefits of collagen is growing, but like any supplement, results will depend on the person.
Collagen makes up an incredible 80% of our skin. As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen. The lifestyles we lead, exposure to the sun and our diet can affect the amount of collagen we have (and how quickly it depletes).
Collagen supplements can provide a boost for your body, and it comes in many forms, including:
- Collagen type 1
- Collagen type 2
- Collagen type 3
- Marine collagen
- Bovine collagen
- Hydrolysed collagen
- Lycopene and ceramide
- Collagen food sources
Most people take collagen for healthier skin, but there are benefits for your joint health too.
Specifically, Type 2 collagen in the body stretches over the end of bones and inside joints. Low levels of Type 2 collagen can lead to injuries in some people.
Studies have found that taking a collagen supplement can have positive benefits for your body and may play a role in building stronger bones, too.
“Hydrolyzed collagen has a positive therapeutic effect on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis with a potential increase in bone mineral density, a protective effect on articular cartilage, and especially in the symptomatic relief of pain,” they conclude.
Fish oil/omega-3 fatty acids
It seems grandma did know best: a daily dose of fish oil can benefit your joints. Fish liver oil is also a rich source of both vitamin D and Vitamin A, which are both important for healthy bones and joints.
People with rheumatoid arthritis should ensure they get at least 2.7g of fish oil. While you can take a fish oil for this, many people prefer to take tablets to get the concentration they need.
There’s a growing body of evidence for the benefits of fish oil in treating arthritis. While no supplement should ever replace prescription medications and advice from a qualified medical professional, taking fish oil is proven to have benefits for joints.
Do I need to take a supplement for bones and joints?
In theory, you should be able to get all the vitamins you need from a healthy and varied diet. However, many of us struggle – and d supplements can fill the gap. Taking a regular daily supplement (or combination of supplements) is the only way you can guarantee that your body is getting the vitamins it needs.
We would say that, wouldn’t we? Well, we’re in the business of selling the best bone health supplements, but the NHS agrees – suggesting that everyone take a vitamin D supplement between October and March.
We’ve provided information and guidance on some of the most popular bone health vitamins and supplements, but you should always seek advice from a doctor.
Can supplements prevent osteoporosis and arthritis?
It’s impossible to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis using supplements. These are serious medical conditions that must be diagnosed by a doctor and treated appropriately.
While some companies and suppliers may try and sell you a supplement as a treatment for osteoporosis, it won’t.
However, supplements can play a role in improving your overall health and wellbeing and help to ensure your body gets enough of the essential vitamins and minerals it needs.
Find the bone health supplements that suit you
We’re all different, and so are supplements. You’ll need to find the supplement (or combination of supplements) that works best for you.
At Stronger Bones, we have a huge (and ever-growing) selection of specialist supplements for bone and joint health. You’ll find supplements from brands including Solgar, Higher Nature, BetterYou, and others at the cheapest prices around.
Before you start taking any supplements, speak with your doctor. You may find that some supplements can interact negatively with prescription medications. You should also read and follow all advice on any supplement and stop using it if you experience any negative side effects.
Buy vitamins for bones and joints at Stronger Bones
At Stronger Bones, you can find the UK’s best selection of bone and joint health supplements. We’ve handpicked products from the world’s leading supplement brands at the lowest prices around.
You can buy individual products online, or to access even greater savings subscribe to one of our regular boxes. You’ll receive a 3-months supply of supplements delivered to your door, all at up to 20% off online prices.
We’re helping you to feel stronger, live better, and save money.