Our bones absorb most of the calcium they need earlier in life (typically before age 30). Nevertheless, this nutrient does play an essential role in maintaining bone health later in life too. It is also needed for other basic body functions, like muscle contraction, nerve and heart functioning and other biochemical reactions. And, one other important factor to keep in mind is that if you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet, the body steals the nutrient from your bones, weakening them. So, while you still need calcium in your 40s and beyond, you need not go overboard. A well rounded diet with calcium-rich foods like dairy, tofu, sardines, broccoli, almonds and spinach ought to be enough.
In your 40s and beyond, Vitamin D is essential as this nutrient helps protect against age-related changes that tend to arise at this time. Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and breast and colorectal cancers. Vitamin D is also essential for the absorption of calcium in the body. You can get it from dietary sources including fish, fortified dairy, grains and cereals – though Vitamin D in food tends to be poorly absorbed. One of the best sources is the sun, however since not everyone lives close enough to the equator to be exposed to its strong rays, the supplement Vitamin D3 (a type of Vitamin D closest to what you get from the sun) will suffice.