Vitamin C: Good for Your Bones
Vitamin C linked to Reduced Bone Loss in Older Men
WebMD News Archive
Vitamin C and Bones: Study Results continued...
"At one hip site [of two measured], for example, men in the highest
intake group, who took in 314 milligrams of vitamin C a day in food and
supplements but had low calcium intake, did not lose bone density on
average," she says, ''whereas those in the lowest group, who took in 106
milligrams, lost 5.6% of their bone."
"The only significant effects on bone loss were found in men who were
low in vitamin E or calcium," she says.
Why no effect was not seen in women is complicated, Tucker says. The effects
of vitamin C may interact with estrogen use, calcium, and vitamin E, she
Vitamin C and Bones: Second Opinion
The new finding is "interesting and plausible," says Robert P.
Heaney, MD, professor at John A. Creighton University in Omaha and a longtime
researcher in osteoporosis.
"There is good biology behind it," he says. "If you don't have
enough vitamin C, you don't make bones right. Collagen is the principal protein
of bones, accounting for nearly half the volume. What the collagen does is
prevent bones from coming apart."
In recent years, says Heaney, researchers have found that maintaining bone
density requires not just getting enough calcium, but also vitamin D and
protein. Now, more evidence is emerging about the important role of vitamin C
and bones as well, he says.
Vitamin C and Bones: Advice
The new research isn't a call to dose up with supplements, Tucker says. She
believes in getting as much vitamin C as possible from fruits
and vegetables, supplementing with a vitamin tablet if necessary.
Getting enough vitamin D and calcium is also still important for bone
maintenance, she says.
Heaney agrees and adds this advice: "Eat a good diet. Exercise, walk, skip rope, jog.''