Bones are constantly reconstructing themselves through a process of removing old bone tissue and replacing it with new bone tissue. A disruption in bone tissue replenishment can result in bone disease. Understanding how gut microbes influence your bones is the first step to protecting your microbes to support healthy bones. Learn how gut microbes regulate the availability of nutrients necessary for healthy bones below.
Gut microbes regulate the availability of nutrients important for bone health
Healthy bones require a multitude of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin A, and magnesium. Recent research has also suggested a role of several B vitamins and even vitamins C and E in bone health (20). Animals raised on a nutrient-depleted diet have reduced bone length (21).
Disruption of the microbiota can significantly alter nutrient absorption. Gut dysbiosis has been shown to increase the number of calories absorbed from food (22, 23). Yet it can also result in inflammation of the gut epithelium, the location of nutrient transporters that allow for the absorption of vitamins and minerals. This paradoxically results in individuals that are both overweight and malnourished (24).
In addition to influencing absorption and metabolism, microbes themselves also synthesize some of our vitamins. These include thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), biotin (B7), folate, tetrahydrofolate, pyridoxal phosphate, and vitamin K2 (25, 26).