Minerals, Vitamins, and Other Micronutrients
  • Robert P. Heaney
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


Osteoporosis is a condition of skeletal fragility caused by decreased bone mass and by microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with consequent increased risk of fracture. The condition is multifactorial in pathogenesis. Nutrition affects bone health in two dis­tinct ways. First, bone tissue deposition, maintenance, and repair are the result of cellular processes, which are as dependent upon nutrition as are the corresponding processes of any other tissue. The production of bone matrix, for example, requires the synthesis and posttranslational modification of collagen and an array of other proteins. Nutrients in­volved in these cellular activities include vitamins C, D, and K, and the minerals phos­phorus, copper, manganese, and zinc. Additionally, the regulation of calcium homeostasis requires normal magnesium nutrition. Second, the skeleton serves as a very large nutrient reserve for two minerals, calcium and phosphorus, and the size of that reserve (in other words, the strength of the skeletal structures) will be dependent in part upon the daily bal­ance between absorbed intake and excretory loss of these two minerals.


Bone Mass Calcium Intake Calcium Balance Major Disability Calcium Requirement 
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