Are you at risk of being vitamin D deficient?

Many people know that calcium is important to build healthy bones, but that is only one part of the equation.

For the body to absorb calcium, it needs nutrients like vitamins D and K. Think of these two vitamins as key ingredients in a 'healthy bones' recipe; without them, calcium alone wouldn't do the job.

Besides assisting calcium absorption from food in the intestine and improving bone strength, these two vitamins offer a string of other health benefits.

Vitamin D is responsible for enhancing the absorption of iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc - all important minerals of our bones.

Improved muscle strength and the correct renewal of our bones are some of the other benefits of vitamin D, which help to reduce the risk of fractures and falls.

Likewise, our bodies need vitamin K to improve bone strength. Studies have also associated increased concentrations of vitamin K in our bodies with decreased risk of contracting certain illnesses such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Benefits aside, vitamin K can be found in most diets, but the same cannot be said for vitamin D, which is produced by our skin from exposure to sunlight.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, a variety of factors limit our exposure to sunlight. Haze, sunscreen, concerns regarding skin cancer from overexposure to sunlight, and lifestyle choices such as a propensity to stay indoors could all potentially impede our body's natural production of vitamin D.

Consequentially, vitamin D deficiency can lead to more brittle bones, making it a growing concern in ageing societies like Singapore.

Given the scarcity of vitamin D, it is no wonder that some food and beverages in certain countries are fortified with vitamin D, such as orange juice, margarine, and breakfast cereals, the Swiss Non-Profit organisation said in a 2015 brochure for osteoporotic patients.

Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men, over the age of 50, will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis - when bones become too thin and fragile.

A combination of regular exercise and the right diet is, therefore, important to optimise bone health for all ages.

Drinking milk is one way of supplementing vitamin D in our diet and MARIGOLD HL Milk contains a unique BonePlus formulation with vitamins D and K, aiding calcium absorption and improving bone strength. MARIGOLD HL Milk is also high in calcium and protein and low in fat and lactose, making it suitable for a wide range of people.

So drink two glasses of MARIGOLD HL Milk daily for a balanced and healthier diet.