Zinc May Reduce Risk of Osteoporosis

SAN DIEGO–Dietary zinc intake has been linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis in men, according to a study published in the September 2004 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

At baseline, 396 men between the ages of 45 and 92 were assessed for bone mineral density (BMD), dietary zinc intake via a food-frequency questionnaire, and plasma zinc concentration by means of inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy. Four years later, the subjects were once again assessed.

Mean dietary zinc intake was 11.2 mg, while mean plasma zinc concentration was 12.7 µmol/L. Total zinc intake was correlated with plasma zinc, independent of body mass index or age. Dietary and plasma zinc were lower in men with osteoporosis at the hip and spine than in men without osteoporosis at these locations. BMDs for the hip, spine and distal wrist were significantly lower in men in the lowest zinc quartile than in men with higher plasma concentrations of zinc.

The scientists concluded dietary zinc intake and plasma zinc have a positive association with BMD in men.

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