Calcium and vitamin D intake are important to bone health and prevents osteoporosis. Sunday, a seemingly healthy, young basketball player suffered a horrific and gruesome bone injury in front of millions of viewers. During a Midwest Regional college basketball game, Louisville Cardinals guard Kevin Ware fractured his leg after a jump during gameplay, and his bone protruded through his skin.
The type of injury that Ware experienced is called a "compound" fracture, in which his tibia or the larger bone below the knee was snapped in two. The injury might have been prevented with increased amounts of vitamin D and calcium in his diet.
As ABC News reported, Tim Hewett, who is a director of sports medicine at Ohio State University, speculated that Ware may have lacked vitamin D and calcium in his diet. Hewett said, "Watching the video tape over and over, I would not expect this type of fracture to occur. I suspect he had some risk factors that created some sort of bone deficit."
Calcium deficiency in the body contributes to the development of osteoporosis, which is the reduction of bone mineral density that can increase the risk of fracture. As the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases suggests, adults between the ages of 18 to 70 should get at least 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day to maintain healthy bones.
Vitamin D helps the body to form the hormone called "calcitriol" to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, insufficient calcium absorption from the diet takes place which prevents the strong new bone from forming and weakens the existing bone. The recommended intake of vitamin D up to the age of 70 is 600 IU (International Units) and 800 IU for those over 70. Egg yolks, liver and saltwater fish are some examples of foods that are high in vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements can also be taken to achieve the recommended daily amounts.