Posted on 16 May 2023

The best vitamins for women’s bones: Essential nutrients for stronger skeletal health

Building strong and healthy bones is crucial for women of all ages. It’s especially important for those who have gone through menopause. But the advice on what to do, what bone health supplements to take, and who to ask for support is confusing!

To help, in this article, we will explore the best vitamins for women’s bones. Every piece of advice is supported by a scientific study (links at the end). We hope it helps you to make the best choices for your body and bones.  

Why women need to get serious about bone health 

Women have a higher risk of developing bone health problems. As they get older, the issues become worse.

As women experience hormonal changes throughout their lives, including menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, they become more susceptible to bone-related issues such as osteoporosis. 

While bone health problems are more likely in women, they’re not inevitable. The positive news is that there are some things every woman can do to improve their bone health. 

While a well-balanced diet and regular exercise play vital roles in bone health, specific vitamins benefit bone strength. 

Here are the best vitamins for women who want to improve their bone health:

#1 Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for helping the body to absorb calcium, a mineral critical for bone health. It works to help regulate calcium levels in the blood and aids in the development and maintenance of strong bones. 

Great natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight: Spending time outdoors in the sun allows your body to produce vitamin D naturally. Results from studies show that exposure to sunlight is the most effective way to optimize vitamin D levels in the body (1).
  • Fatty Fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin D. Scientists writing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition established that fatty fish intake was positively associated with bone mineral density in women (2).
  • Fortified Foods: You’ll find many foods are now fortified with vitamin D, like milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. Fortification helps ensure adequate vitamin D intake, especially in regions with limited sunlight exposure (3).
  • Vitamin D supplements: You can find vitamin D in high-quality supplements. Bone health supplements are available in different strengths, enabling you to get the optimum dose of vitamin D each day – whatever the weather.

#2 Calcium

Calcium is a one oe the fundamental minerals for bone health and helps build and maintain strong bones. It’s vital for women during adolescence and menopause. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are rich in calcium. Scientists have found that higher dairy product consumption is associated with higher bone mineral density. (4).
  • Leafy greens: Vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli are packed with calcium. The Nurses’ Health Study found that a higher intake of leafy green vegetables was associated with a lower risk of hip fractures in women (5).
  • Fortified plant milk: Almond, soy, and oat milk are often fortified with calcium to provide a suitable alternative for individuals who avoid dairy products. These fortified plant-based milks offer a calcium source for women following a vegan or lactose-free diet (6).
  • Calcium supplements: While many of us get the calcium we need from our diets, supplements provide a welcome boost for our bones. Taking a calcium supplement is an easy – and effective – way to ensure you get the calcium you need for your body and bones.

#3 Vitamin K

It’s not as well known, but vitamin K promotes the synthesis of proteins essential for bone health. In addition, it helps bind calcium to the bone matrix, enhancing bone density. 

Food sources rich in vitamin K include:

  • Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of vitamin K. A study published in Osteoporosis International found that high dietary vitamin K intake was associated with greater bone mineral density in women (7).
  • Natto: A traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, natto, is a potent source of vitamin K2. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported that vitamin K2 intake from natto was associated with a reduced risk of fractures in women (8).
  • Broccoli: This cruciferous vegetable provides a good amount of vitamin K and other vital nutrients. Experts have demonstrated a positive association between dietary vitamin K intake and bone health (9).
  • Vitamin K supplements: You can find vitamin K in a range of supplements, including individual vitamin K supplements and multivitamins.

#4 Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those related to bone health. It aids calcium absorption, activates vitamin D, and contributes to bone mineralization. 

Dietary sources of magnesium include:

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds are all good sources of magnesium. Research has established that higher magnesium intake was associated with higher bone mineral density in women (10).
  • Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are magnesium-rich grains. Research published in The Journal of Nutrition highlighted the positive association between whole grain intake and bone health in women (11).
  • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and black beans provide magnesium and other essential nutrients. A study published in Nutrients demonstrated that legume consumption was positively associated with bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (12)
  • Magnesium supplements: High-quality magnesium supplements, such as this one from the Naked Pharmacy, provide a daily dose of magnesium for 

Building stronger bones: Our conclusion

Ensuring optimal bone health is essential for women at every stage of life. Alongside a balanced diet and exercise, incorporating crucial vitamins into your daily routine can significantly contribute to stronger bones. 

Vitamin D, calcium, vitamin K, and magnesium are among the best vitamins for women’s bones, and their natural sources are easily accessible. The sun, fatty fish, dairy products, leafy greens, fortified plant milk, natto, broccoli, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains, and legumes are all excellent sources of these essential nutrients. 

However, many women can benefit from a daily bone health supplement. You can choose individual supplements and combine them or buy a branded multivitamin that contains the vitamins and minerals required to build stronger bones.

When you’re confident about the supplements you need, buy from Stronger Bones. You’ll find a huge selection of bone health supplements from the UK’s biggest brands. Spend over £25, and get free shipping!


  1. Wacker, M., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Sunlight and Vitamin D: A global perspective for health. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 144, 201-206.
  2. Farina, E. K., Kiel, D. P., Roubenoff, R., Schaefer, E. J., & Cupples, L. A. (2011). Dietary intakes of arachidonic acid and α-linolenic acid are associated with reduced risk of hip fracture in older adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(1), 114-122.
  3. Cashman, K. D., Kiely, M., & Seamans, K. M. (2009). A systematic review and meta-regression analysis of the vitamin D intake-serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D relationship. Nutrition Research Reviews, 22(2), 239-254.
  4. Sahni, S., Tucker, K. L., Kiel, D. P., Quach, L., Casey, V. A., Hannan, M. T., & Sripanyakorn, S. (2013). Milk and yogurt consumption are linked with higher bone mineral density but not with hip fracture: The Framingham Offspring Study. Archives of Osteoporosis, 8(1-2), 1-14.
  5. Feskanich, D., Weber, P., Willett, W. C., Rockett, H., Booth, S. L., & Colditz, G. A. (1999). Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: A prospective study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(1), 74-79.
  6. Weaver, C. M., Plawecki, K. L., & Hill Gallant, K. M. (2016). Calcium bioavailability from fortified foods and supplements. Nutrition Reviews, 74(11), 724-731.
  7. Booth, S. L., Tucker, K. L., Chen, H., Hannan, M. T., Gagnon, D. R., Cupples, L. A., … & Kiel, D. P. (2000). Dietary vitamin K intakes are associated with hip fracture but not with bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Osteoporosis International, 11(11), 933-939.
  8. Kaneki, M., Hedges, S. J., Hosoi, T., Fujiwara, S., Lyons, A., Crean, S. J., … & Nakagawa, M. (2001). Japanese fermented soybean food as the major determinant of the large geographic difference in circulating levels of vitamin K2: Possible implications for hip-fracture risk. Nutrition, 17(4), 315-321.
  9. Bolton-Smith, C., McMurdo, M. E. T., Paterson, C. R., Mole, P. A., & Harvey, J. M. (2000). Two-year randomized controlled trial of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin D3 plus calcium on the bone health of older women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 15(6), 1113-1118.
  10. Ryder, K. M., Shorr, R. I., & Bush, A. J. (2005). Magnesium intake from food and supplements is associated with bone mineral density in healthy older white subjects. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(11), 1875-1880.
  11. McKeown, N. M., Jacques, P. F., Zhang, X., Juan, W., Sahyoun, N. R., & Blumberg, J. B. (2002). Whole-grain intake is favorably associated with metabolic risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the Framingham Offspring Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76(2), 390-398.
  12. Zhu, K., Devine, A., Prince, R. L., & Lewis, J. R. (2014). Association of legume intake with bone mass in premenopausal women: A cross-sectional study. Nutrients, 6(12), 5244-5258.


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