For years, researchers have known that vitamin C is needed for normal bone development and for the formation of collagen, the fibrous protein part of bone, cartilage, and other structures.
But few studies have looked at the relationship between vitamin C intake from food and supplements and bone density, Tucker says.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin and reduces oxidative stress, which has a negative effect on all cells in the body, she says. "Antioxidants are needed to protect against oxidative stress, therefore protecting against inflammation. Inflammation drives bone resorption, which is basically taking calcium away from the bones. Vitamin C should help slow that resorption."