Bone Health Quick Tips
6. Bank On Beta Carotene For Strong Bones
Vitamin A plays a role in maintaining strong bones—but when it comes to bone health not all A is equally helpful. Generally, there are two sources of vitamin A: “pre-formed” A, or retinol, found in animal products, such as liver; and beta carotene, a compound in leafy green and deep orange vegetables. Studies suggest that getting too much vitamin A in the form of retinol is associated with an increased risk of bone fractures. High intakes of beta carotene, however, do not increase fracture risk. Meet your vitamin A needs by eating a variety of beta carotene–rich vegetables and fruits, including carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. If you take a multivitamin, choose one that contains no more than 100% of the daily value from vitamin A and supplies some of the nutrient in the form of beta carotene, rather than retinol (look for “vitamin A acetate” or “vitamin A palmitate” on the label).
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