What role does nutrition play in fracture healing?

Doctor reviewing a patient's cast for a broken leg

It’s a good bet that fracture healing will likely affect all of us at some point in our lives. It may affect you, a friend, or a family member. In fact, the average citizen in a developed country can expect to sustain two fractures over the course of his or her lifetime1. What we put in our bodies plays a crucial role in the success of our recovery. Getting the right minerals in the right amounts is a key factor in the strength of your recovery. Bone and joint supplements are a great way to get the right minerals in your body.  Should the time ever come when you need to know a little more about fracture healing, here’s the important stuff to remember.

Fractures start to heal almost immediately

As soon as a fracture of the bone occurs, the healing process begins. Seconds after the bone breaks, tiny cells in the neighboring tissue send out chemical messengers. They encourage the growth of blood vessels that help form a barrier around the fracture site. Eventually, other cells arrive to aid the process. Over the next few weeks, a complex network of

  • cells,
  • tissues, and
  • fibers

intertwine to form new, strong bone. The reason the speed of fracture healing is important is your body starts to utilize key nutrients right away. This is where quality nutrition comes in.

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Vitamins and minerals are a must to help build new bone

Consider that a normally active adult needs to have up to 2,500 calories a day to function. However, a fracture patient may need up to 3x that amount to meet their healing requirements2.

Fracture healing requires extra nutrition because of the increased demands placed on the body. This often comes in the form of vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition can influence the

  • speed,
  • comfort, and
  • completeness

of the bone renewal process1, and vitamins and minerals are an essential part of this. Minerals especially are essential to fracture healing.


Vitamins are the catalysts for many of the biochemical reactions involved in bone repair. In particular, the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin K play a key role in the healing of bone.


Minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, silicon, and zinc account for 70% of bone by weight1. Unsurprisingly, fracture healing requires the availability of all these minerals. On a day-to-day basis, many people already under-consume minerals. When healing from a fracture, that deficit can get even worse. Key minerals for fracture healing include the following1:

Zinc: zinc aids in callus formation and enhances production of bone protein, stimulating fracture healing.

Copper:  copper is needed for the formation of collagen. Studies have shown that the body’s demand for both copper and zinc rises according to trauma severity.

Calcium and Phosphorus: calcium and phosphorus play a critical role in regulating the elasticity and tensile strength of bone.

Silicon: bioactive silicon plays an important role in collagen synthesis.

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Fracture healing is a multi-nutrient team effort

Since bone is a complex tissue that requires many nutrients, getting the right mix of proteins, minerals, and vitamins is essential. During the healing process, make sure you get a good mix of

  • amino acids,
  • protein,
  • minerals, and
  • vitamins

in your diet. Several studies have found that multi-nutrient therapy can speed up fracture healing and actually reduce complications. Consuming a wide range of needed nutrients will be more effective in fracture healing than focusing on one or two items.

1- Forte White paper.https://forteelements.com/wp-content/themes/x-forte-elements/assets/pdf/forte-fracture-nutrition-white-paper.pdf.

2- Smith TK. Prevention of complications in orthopedic surgery secondary to nutritional depletion. Clin Ortho and Related Research 1987222:91-97.

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