- Sustaining a bone injury increases your mortality risk as you age.
- Vitamins D and B12 play a role in maintaining bone density and preventing injury.
- If you’re on a plant-based diet, supplementing with vitamin B12 can help maintain bone density.
ost people end up at their first orthopedist visit after suffering from a particularly gnarly on-field wipe-out. But Carl Giordano, M.D., a double board-certified orthopedic surgeon, is all about supporting bone health and preventing injury before you make it into the surgery suite.
You might not think much about your bones. But if you’re in your forties, your density is already starting to decline (1). If you don’t pay attention to your bone health now, you’ll be more prone to bone-related conditions—like osteoporosis—and injury in your old age.
“Bone health is crucial for longevity because it is fundamental in maintaining overall health and mobility as we age,” Giordano says. “A properly functioning skeletal system supports physical activity, mobility, and independence, helps reduce the risk of fractures, and protects and supports vital organs.”
In fact, sustaining a bone injury after age 50 is linked with a decrease in lifespan of up to seven years, according to a 2023 study (2).
On top of daily exercise and a plant-based diet, Giordano maintains a strict bone health and longevity-focused supplement stack to support mobility with aging and prevent injury. This is every vitamin he takes, and why he thinks you should add them to your protocol.
Orthopedic Surgeon-Approved Bone Health Supplements
Vitamin D supports bone health by improving calcium absorption (3), which decreases the risk of fracture and bone density loss. Calcium is one of the building blocks of healthy bone density—according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons—but your body doesn’t produce any on its own. As you age, your body’s ability to absorb calcium decreases (4).
While many people try to bump up their vitamin D levels by increasing sun exposure and eating foods like salmon, oranges, and dairy, that may not be enough to prevent a vitamin D deficiency.
“Many Americans, and even athletes today, are vitamin D deficient,” Giordano says. “Sadly, 15 minutes in the sun with T-shirts and shorts does not maintain our vitamin D levels.”
Giordano takes 5,000 IU of vitamin D in olive oil capsules daily. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, per Giordano, so you need to take it with a fatty substance to be absorbed properly.
“Because my diet is largely plant-based, I also take B12 on a daily basis,” Giordano says. Most adults get their daily vitamin B12 intake through foods like fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy (6). He takes the recommended daily dose of 2.4 mcg for adults, but there is no upper limit to how much you can take due to a lack of toxicity (7).
Giordano takes an all-inclusive supplement, which contains berberine, resveratrol, quercetin, NMN, and astragalus, from Rebesana (he’s a cofounder, BTW).
“Rebesana contains five molecules that have been shown to work on a cellular genetic basis to promote healthspan and lifespan through several key pathways,” he says. And these five molecules boast specific pros for bone health.
Berberine: may improve osteoporosis symptoms by boosting osteoblast (bone-forming cell) activity (8).
Resveratrol: may inhibit bone reabsorption—which prevents bone mineral breakdown—and stimulates osteoblast activity (9).
Quercetin: may reduce inflammation, promote osteogenesis (bone development), and regulate bone homeostasis (a healthy balance of bone resorption and formation) (10).
NMN: may promote osteogenesis in aging bones (11).
Astragalus: may improve bone density by elevating calcium levels (12).