A reassessment of diet and osteoporosis--possible role for copper.


Strain JJ




Med Hypotheses


Much emphasis has centred on the role of dietary calcium and calcium supplementation in the pathophysiology and prevention of osteoporosis. Yet there is accumulating evidence that current recommendations on preventive measures are at best of little value and are inconsistent with the available epidemiological data. It is proposed that more attention should be given to dietary trace elements, especially copper, in the aetiology of post-menopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporotic lesions attributable to copper deficiency have been described in both man and animals and the hypothesis that a mild dietary copper deficiency may be implicated in the onset and progression of osteoporosis is also consistent with the epidemiological evidence. Many western diets are low in copper but in addition milk and milk products are amongst the poorest sources of copper and lactose may interfere with copper metabolism. Current recommendations, therefore, for the prevention of osteoporosis may actually be detrimental to health.