Vitamins and minerals play a vital role in supporting bone and joint health. People may consume vitamins and minerals through foods or in the form of supplements.

Vitamin D and calcium are essential to help maintain healthy bones. Other vitamins, minerals, and supplements may also help support bone and joint health.

This article discusses a range of vitamins, minerals, and supplements that may help support bone and joint health, as well as considerations for using supplements safely with a doctor’s guidance.

Further resources

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

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According to a 2019 study, vitamin D can increase bone mass and prevent bone loss. Vitamin D can also help the body absorb calcium, which is an essential substance for bone health.

A person may receive their daily intake of vitamin D from foods, exposure to the sun, or by taking over-the-counter (OTC) supplements.

Foods that contain vitamin D include:

Learn more about some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D.

The role of vitamin K is to activate certain proteins that help with bone formation and prevent the weakening of bones. It is essential for bone health, and a lack of vitamin K may lead to bone loss and fractures.

A person should be able to get enough vitamin K by following a varied and balanced diet. OTC vitamin K supplements are also available.

Some foods that contain vitamin K include:

Read more about foods that contain vitamin K.

Calcium is a mineral that strengthens and hardens bone. It is essential for bone health and the mineralization of the skeleton.

A person should be able to get all the calcium they need through food. However, OTC calcium supplements are also available.

Some foods that contain calcium include:

  • dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, and cheese
  • certain leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and bok choy
  • plant-based milk, fruit juices, and cereals with added calcium
  • canned fish with edible bones, such as salmon and sardines

Learn more about calcium-rich foods that vegans can eat.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are both found naturally in healthy cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the joints.

There are no food groups that are a major source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Rather, a person’s body produces them naturally. If a person wants to increase their intake, they can purchase OTC dietary supplements.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, people commonly take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for arthritis. However, evidence for the efficacy of either compound on joint health is inconclusive, and researchers suggest that further studies into glucosamine and chondroitin are necessary.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that may play a role in decreasing inflammation in the body.

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce joint inflammation and pain if a person has rheumatoid arthritis.

Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include:

Read more about omega-3 rich foods.

SAM-e is a chemical the body produces naturally. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it has pain-relieving, cartilage-protecting, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Past studies show that SAM-e supplements may help with osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms, including improving joint function and reducing pain. However, evidence to support the efficacy of SAM-e supplements for joint health is limited, so further research may be needed.

SAM-e is not present in foods but is available as an OTC supplement.

Curcumin is a natural substance present in the spice turmeric. It may reduce inflammation in the body and have other overall health benefits.

Research suggests that curcumin may have a beneficial impact on symptoms of OA, including improving joint function and reducing pain in comparison to a placebo.

A person can consume curcumin by adding turmeric to foods or beverages. Dietary supplements are also available over the counter.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), dietary supplements can help a person attain an adequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals for bone and joint health. However, a person can typically get all the vitamins and minerals they need for bone and joint health by eating a varied, balanced, diet.

A person should always consult a doctor before taking any dietary supplements or making changes to their diet for bone and joint health, particularly if they are taking medication. Some supplements, vitamins, and minerals can interact with medications, food, and other substances and cause side effects.

Some manufacturers add vitamins and minerals to foods. If a person does not seek medical advice before taking supplements or changing their diet, they may unknowingly consume more than they need. If a person consumes too much of a vitamin or mineral, it can have harmful effects on the body.

Many vitamins and minerals, like calcium and vitamin D, are an essential part of bone and joint health. A person can typically get all they need from a balanced and varied diet. However, OTC dietary supplements are also available.

A person should consult a doctor before making any changes to their diet or taking any dietary supplements for bone and joint health. Some vitamins and minerals may interact with medications, food, and other substances and cause harmful side effects.