The bones of the story

The nutrition team

Figuring out exactly which vitamins do what in your body, can be difficult. So to clear up any confusion, here are the facts about calcium and Vitamin D, two very important nutrients that work together to take care of your bones.


Bones are mostly made up of calcium, so getting enough calcium in your diet is vital to health, particularly in times of growth, like childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and when breast-feeding.

A lack of calcium in your diet can lead to weak or brittle bones (osteoporosis) in the long-term. This is a painful and debilitating disease that now affects one in four women, and one in twelve men over the age of fifty.

Taking plenty of milk and dairy products is the best way to boost your calcium intake. Three or four portions a day will give you all the calcium you need for healthy bones, but stick to the lower fat versions while you are dieting. There are plenty of alternative foods that provide calcium like bread, canned fish, dark green leafy vegetables and nuts and seeds, if you don’t take milk.

Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin

Deficiency of calcium in bones can also result from an inadequate supply of vitamin D, which is essential for absorbing calcium from food. A diet lacking in vitamin D can lead to skeletal deformity in children (rickets) and to pain and muscle weakness in adults (osteomalacia).

Our main source of Vitamin D is sunshine so it’s particularly important in the winter to get some fresh air and sunlight as often as possible. This is especially true for children and elderly people.

Don’t forget to take some exercise while you are outside too, since physical activity is also beneficial for bone health as well as reducing your body weight.

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