Nutrition & bone health
Key vitamins for bone health — vitamin C
by Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD
Vitamin C is involved in a great variety of complex and interrelated metabolic processes.
Here are three ways in which it is essential for healthy bones.
- Vitamin C assists in the formation of collagen. As described in our article on the nature of healthy bones, bone mineral is
laid down over a protein matrix called collagen. Collagen is abundant in
the connective tissue of cartilage and bone — in fact, it makes up about 30%
of our bones, serving as a support structure for mineral deposits and giving bone
- In addition to its role in collagen formation, vitamin C appears to stimulate the
cells that build bone, enhance calcium absorption, and enhance vitamin D’s effect on bone metabolism.
- A third role for vitamin C and bones is in the synthesis and optimal functioning
of adrenal steroid hormones, which play a vital role in bone health — especially during perimenopause and menopause, when
ovarian production of these hormones slows.
Even though the RDA’s
for vitamin C are a very minimal 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women, great numbers
of Americans do not even consume this amount! Many well-qualified scientists, including
the late Nobel laureate, Linus Pauling, believe recommended levels are extremely
low, and that our health would be greatly served on many levels by a much higher
intake per day. At the Center for Better Bones, patients are encouraged to strive
for an intake of 2000–3000 mg per day to recover and preserve bone health, and more
if individual need is determined.
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The Personal Program for Better Bones: the approach I recommend for naturally strong bones.
At the Center for Better Bones we promote an all-natural approach to bone regeneration
and repair that includes nutrition, diet, exercise, lifestyle guidance, and support.
The Personal Program for Better Bones is a convenient,
at-home version of this approach that was developed with Women to Women, one of America's premiere on-line women's
health websites. Working together, we've developed the most comprehensive approach
to bones health available today, and based on the 25 years of Dr. Brown's leading-edge
research in the field.
Questions about the Personal Program for Better Bones? Call toll-free at
Original Publication Date: 04/11/2000
Last Modified: 07/10/2012
Principal Author: Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD