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Bones & Joints

Bones & Joints

  • What are the consequences of low levels of vitamin D?

    Vitamin DSince vitamin D is largely produced via the action of sunlight on the skin, it was once assumed that deficiency wasn’t a problem in a sunny country like Australia. However, it’s now clear that many Australians do have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D.

    Research suggests that even in a sunny region like Queensland, more than 40% of healthy adults may have insufficient vitamin D levels. People living in the southern parts of Australia are even more likely to be affected, especially during the colder months of the year.

    What are the consequences of low levels of vitamin D?

    Inadequate vitamin D levels have been linked with a wide variety of health problems, including :

    • Increased hair loss.
    • Osteoporosis and osteopaenia.
    • Increased susceptibility to fractures and falls in the elderly.
    • Muscle weakness and non-specific musculoskeletal pain.
    • Reduced immune function.

    How can I make sure I get enough vitamin D?

    Optimise your vitamin D levels by exposing your skin to sunlight on a regular basis. The recommended amount of sun exposure for adequate vitamin D levels varies according to where you live. To achieve healthy vitamin D levels it is recommended that people living in Darwin, Brisbane and surrounding areas have a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure on most days throughout the year. People living in areas like Sydney, Canberra and Perth need a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure on most days during summer and two to three hours per week during June and July.

    Those who live further south (for example in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart or surrounding areas) need a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure on most days in summer, and two to three hours per week from May to August. Make sure to avoid sun exposure during the times of the day when UV rays are at their strongest. Instead, choose early morning or late afternoon as your times for catching some sunshine.

  • How Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin Work?

    Glucosamine is one of the most popular natural health supplements in Australia , often taken alongside the related compound chondroitin to aid the management of osteoarthritis. But what are glucosamine and chondroitin, and how do they work? Read on to find out. Continue reading

  • Habits That Help Kids Build Healthy Bones

    Healthy Bones Pure Vitamins Habits that help kids build healthy bones

    It’s not something I’m proud of, but like many women now in their forties, I was a secret smoker in my teens. It was also pretty common for me to eat quite sparingly in a misguided attempt to lose weight.  Continue reading

  • Benefits of Berries: Bilberries, Acai and Rose Hip

    As you probably know, berries are amongst the most nutritious of all fruit and vegetables. Besides tasting delicious, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries are packed with antioxidants. Continue reading

  • Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

    My mum’s doctor has recently advised her that she has low bone density, and is at risk of developing osteoporosis and becoming prone to bone fractures as she gets older. This came as a bit of a surprise to her, as she’d always assumed that her diet contained plenty of calcium.

    It’s made me realise that I need to pay attention to my calcium levels now if I want to minimise the likelihood that I too will be at risk of developing osteoporosis in my older years.

    Which foods are rich in calcium?

    Calcium Pure Vitamins Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

    Dairy foods are the predominant source of calcium in the Australian diet , so if you don’t consume dairy in significant quantities, you need to take particular care to obtain calcium from other sources. These include sardines, salmon and other fish with edible bones,  tofu, calcium-fortified foods (such as soy milk, juice and breakfast cereal, which may all have added calcium), and leafy green vegetables such as bok choy, Chinese cabbage and Chinese mustard greens (but not spinach; the calcium it contains is difficult to absorb) .

    How much calcium do I need?

    It’s recommended that adults consume 1000 mg of calcium per day, increasing to 1300 mg for women aged over 50 and men aged over 70. Growing teens (12-18 years) of both sexes also need 1300 mg per day.

    To give you some context, a 250 mL cup of milk  (the full-fat variety, without any additional calcium added) contains 320 mg of calcium, and a small tin of sardines contains around 300 mg (assuming you eat the bones, rather than discarding them).

    Choosing a calcium supplement

    If you’re concerned that you may not be getting enough calcium from your diet, taking a supplement can be a valuable way to top up your levels of this important nutrient. Choose a calcium supplement that contains calcium in forms that are easily absorbed and used by the body. For example, calcium citrate has been demonstrated to help avert bone loss and stabilise bone density, and hydroxyapatite is a form of calcium that occurs naturally in our bones and is well utilised by the human body.

    In addition to the calcium in your supplement, also consider other vitamins and minerals that provide nutritional support for healthy bones, including :

    • Vitamin D3, which promotes the absorption of calcium and helps maintain its stores in the body, and supports bone strength
    • Magnesium, which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and is involved in vitamin D synthesis and the metabolism of calcium. We sell a great range of calcium and magnesium supplements
    • Manganese, which stimulates the activity of bone-building cells called osteoblasts to help increase bone mass
    • Vitamin C, which is involved in the production of connective tissues that form the base matrix of bone, and may be required by women aged over 45 to help minimise loss of bone density
    • Boron, a trace mineral with an active role in calcium metabolism and bone health, which helps decrease the body's excretion of calcium and magnesium
    • Copper and zinc, which are involved in bone formation

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