Supporting Bone Health at All Stages of Life
Bone health is influenced by bone mass and body mechanics, aided by proper nutrition throughout life. During the formative years, it’s important to maximize peak bone mass, while in the later years, reducing bone loss becomes paramount. The importance of supporting bone health at every life stage creates a largely untapped opportunity in products that target all consumers.
While supplements continue to lead in bone health product launches, bone health claims are on the rise in the beverage category—specifically in plant-based and meal replacement beverages. Among new food, beverage, and supplement launches globally with bone health claims, plant-based beverages with claims grew by 52% and nutritional/meal replacement drinks by 40% in the past five years.1
Mineral Balance for Bone Health
In looking at the composition of bone, it becomes clear that bones require a balance of minerals—not just calcium. Simply fortifying a product with calcium isn’t enough to support the bones’ structure, density, and strength. After calcium, phosphorous is the most abundant mineral in the bones. In fact, most of the body’s phosphorous (about 85%) is contained in the bones and teeth.
Phosphorous is essential for the growth and mineralization of bones. The balance of phosphorous and calcium is particularly important. For example, when phosphorous intake is high but calcium is low, the body releases excess parathyroid hormone, which causes calcium to be released from the bones into the bloodstream. This imbalance can ultimately lead to a decline in bone density.