While bone health isn’t the sexiest topic, it is an important health topic. Without strong bones you will not be able to live a healthy, vibrant life.
Our bones not only form the shape of who we are, they also support our muscular system, protect our vital organs, and produce red blood cells that help our bodies function on a cellular level.
Prioritizing bone health early in life is important because our bone mass buildup peaks around age 30 (1). Before age 30 our bodies build up more bone tissue than they break down - this creates a healthy surplus. Once we hit age 30, however, our bones gradually begin to lose mass and break down.
When you eat healthy, stay active, and take beneficial supplements, your bone density will maintain a healthy level (or even increase).
Bone health is a crucial factor in living a healthy life. We want to make sure that we’re building up our bone mass as much as possible before we’re 30 years old and maintaining our bone mass as we age.
Taking bone supporting supplements is a great way to support your bone health. Below is a list of the best bone health supplements.
Best Bone Supplements
No matter what age you are, bone health should be something that you focus on. Here are 4 nutrients to consider supplementing with for maximum bone health.
1. Calcium Supplements
Bones are primarily made from calcium, and 99% of the body’s calcium is found in our bones and teeth. The body will take calcium from our bones if we’re not consuming enough to support functions such as our heart beating or blood clotting.
Since bones are porous to begin with, the more calcium that is removed from our bones, the weaker and more prone to fracturing and breaking they become.
The effects of under-consuming calcium often aren’t seen until well after age 30. Usually people won’t know their bone density has been affected until they’re in their 50's when they fracture a bone.
If you are unsure of your calcium levels, getting regular bone scans is a great preventative measure to take.
When it comes to bone supplements, calcium supplements are probably the most popular option. However, few people know that taking a calcium supplement on its own is not ideal.
Simply taking calcium on it's own can lead to hardened, calcified arteries. Calcium requires K2 and other nutrients to carry it to be deposited in your bones instead of staying in your arteries (3).
If you plan on taking a calcium supplement, your best option is to take it in the form of a multi-vitamin supplement. We include calcium in our daily multi-vitamin supplement called Essentially-U. This formula includes multiple minerals and vitamins, including calcium and vitamins K2 and D3.
As far as form goes, make sure to get high quality calcium supplement. Stay away from cheap calcium carbonate and calcium salt forms. We include the Dima-Cal® form of calcium in our Essentially-U formula. Dima-Cal® is much more easily assimilated and absorbed by your body. This ensures that you are getting the most benefit out of your calcium supplement.
If you prefer food sources, calcium is found in dairy, fish, beans, and nuts, just to name a few. The recommended daily dose of calcium is 1000-1200mg for women and 600-800mg for men. Calcium is absorbed best when taken 500mg at a time. 
2. Vitamin D3 Supplements
Vitamin D3 supports calcium by moving it to the bones, boosting absorption, and causing your bones to grow and be remodeled.
While you can naturally get vitamin D3 via sunlight, many American find it difficult to get enough daily sunshine. This is especially true for those of us that live in the northern United States where sunshine is scarce during the winter months.
Therefore, taking an inexpensive daily vitamin D3 supplement is an easy option for building stronger bones. In fact, one study suggests that older adults may have decreased bone loss when adding a vitamin D3 supplement to the Mediterranean diet they were following .
If you prefer food sources, vitamin D3 can naturally be found in fatty fish and in fortified foods.
Of course, the best source is from direct sunlight. To receive maximum vitamin D3 benefits with as little sun exposure as possible, aim for a minimum of 20 minutes of direct sunlight per day. Depending on the time of year, this may not be possible for you, which is when you should opt to consume a vitamin D3 supplement instead.
The recommended vitamin D3 dose is 600-4000 IU per day, depending on age. Because this range is so large, you may see benefits beyond bone health from supplementing even if you’re within the recommended D3 range.
A physician can let you know what the best vitamin D3 dose is for you. It’s also helpful to have labs done on vitamin D3 levels in different seasons since your sun exposure may vary.
3. Vitamin Vitamin K2 Supplements
Vitamin K2 is beneficial in blood clotting and directing calcium where to go along with vitamin D3. When we have a cut or scrape, vitamin K2 is the nutrient that takes calcium to that cut to repair the damage and then takes calcium back to the bones to continue building bone mass.
Instead of allowing calcium to build up in the bloodstream, vitamin K2 moves calcium to the bones where it’s needed most. This triggers osteocalcin activity which starts the bone-building process.
Taking a vitamin K2 supplement is a great idea if you are looking to support healthy bones. Our K2 formula contains the MK-7 form of K2, which research has shown to be the most effective and bio-available form .
Our K2 ingredient is actually a trademarked form called MenaQ7®. MenaQ7 allows for a 72-96 hour half-life, which leads to greater absorption, making it a superior form of K2.
If you prefer food sources, vitamin K2 is found in fermented soybeans (called natto), cheese, meat, and egg yolks.
Magnesium, like vitamin D3, regulates calcium levels in the body. It transports calcium from the bloodstream across cells to complete necessary functions and also transports calcium from the bloodstream to the bones to rebuild bone tissue.
Somewhere between 50-60% of the body’s magnesium is found in bones - which shows it's importance for building your overall bone health. Sadly, the majority of American are deficient in magnesium, which leads to poor bone health and a host of other problems.
Supplementing with magnesium is a great way to boost your magnesium levels. Our U-Mag daily magnesium supplement is an easy way to get your required daily magnesium intake. It contains 400mg of magnesium per scoop, and comes in a delicious Organic lemon flavor.
Magnesium-rich foods include beans, nuts and and leafy green vegetables. If you prefer to go with food sources, make sure to get organic versions of these food, as organic foods tend to be grown in more fertile soils (which have higher magnesium content).
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 320mg for women and 420mg for men. When supplementing with magnesium, keep in mind that alcohol and caffeine can deplete magnesium levels.
If you consume alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on a regular basis, you might want to increase your magnesium intake, based on your physician’s recommendations.
While calcium is the key building block of our bones, it needs vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and magnesium to be transported to rebuild our bones. Because calcium is carried to the bones from various functions to avoid calcifying in the bloodstream, a calcium supplement alone will not improve bone health.
Even though calcium is found in many foods, including fortified foods, a high percentage of people are calcium deficient.
One opinion on why that might be is because we are not consuming enough minerals to increase calcium absorption, such as vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and magnesium.
The best bone health supplementation routine should include calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and magnesium.
We recommend taking a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral (such as our Essentially-U formula), or by taking a stand alone product (such as magnesium, or vitamin K2).
We need to prepare our bodies for good bone health at every age. The sooner you take action to support your skeletal system, the better.
It’s never too late to take better care of your body. You only have one.
Amy Henning is a nutrition nerd and fitness junkie from North Carolina who loves researching all things related to health and fitness. She loves running, listening to podcasts, eating delicious food, traveling to interesting places and reading literature and nonfiction books.