Vitamin C is an important nutrient for maintaining bone health. It is essential in the production of collagen in bone matrix. It also scavenges free radicals detrimental to bone health.
A Lab study in animals with vitamin C deficiency showed impaired bone health due to osteoclast formation and decreased bone formation. Vitamin C supplementation was able to prevent bone loss in several animal models of bone loss. Human studies showed positive relationship between vitamin C and bone health, indicated by bone mineral density.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C with antioxidant properties which are known to influence bone quality. Their antioxidant activity and related benefits derive not only from vitamin C but also from other phytochemicals, mainly flavonoids. Humans are one of the few species lacking the enzyme (L-gulonolactone oxidase, to convert glucose to vitamin C, main reason why including vitamin C daily in your diet is important.
Vitamin C deficiency is a serious problem in the elderly and is an under-diagnosed contributor to degenerative disc disease. Once this problem starts, accompanying tissue degeneration occurs as well if left untreated.
Men need 90 milligrams per day, and women need 75 milligrams. A medium orange has about 70 milligrams, but many other foods are good sources too.
High vitamin C foods beside oranges include:
- Bell peppers
- Snow peas
Smoking is a huge factor in breaking down bone mineral density. Unhealthy lifestyle choices aren’t just factors in the breakdown of health, they also work against bone health. Supplements are sold without a prescription, but you should always check with your doctor first.