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 its resilience.
- 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 Better Bones Center, patients are encouraged to strive for an intake
of 2000–3000 mg per day to recover and preserve bone health, and more as individual
need is determined.
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