Having weak bones can take a toll on the quality of a person's life. It can reduce mobility and increase the risk of bone breakage. When bone loss becomes too severe, bones might even break just from bumping into something or straining, like when you sneeze. Over the years, people have gathered a lot of information regarding bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Unfortunately, most of it is wrong.
When it comes to bone loss, the most common misconception that people have is that calcium alone can solve this problem. This stems from findings that people with osteoporosis have calcium-deficient bones. Although this mineral is crucial for bone development, there are other problems that need to be addressed to prevent bone loss. One of these is oxidative stress, which occurs due to an imbalance in free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Studies have shown that vitamin C is crucial for preventing oxidative stress and bone loss. (Related: Supplemental calcium is the wrong approach to age-related bone loss.)
What many people don't realize is that osteoporosis is scurvy of the bones, which is a symptom of vitamin C deficiency. This means that increasing your intake of this nutrient can promote the growth of new, healthy bone. Previous studies have shown that vitamin C supplements can improve bone density test results. But, unlike calcium, it produced strong, structurally sound bones and reduced the risk of fractures. This is possible because vitamin C plays an important role in the formation of bone's structural matrix. It is involved in the production and cross-linking of collagen, as well as the development of non-collagen bone matrix proteins. It is also important for differentiating stem cells into bone cells and for regulating the cells that form collagen and cartilage.
A study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine was able to demonstrate the protective effects of vitamin C against osteoporosis in an animal model. The researchers showed that the mice that were supplemented with vitamin C avoided bone loss. These results were supported by findings published in the International Journal of Experimental Pathology. In this study, the researchers found that vitamin C deficiency caused failure of collagen synthesis. This resulted in symptoms of scurvy, such as spontaneous bone fractures.
Increasing your intake of vitamin C can give you many other health benefits. Some examples of these include the following:
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