The relationship between Zinc and Osteoporosis is somewhat weak. Zinc ranks 24 of 645 Osteoporosis treatments on our list.

Osteoporosis ("porous bones", from Greek: οστούν/ostoun meaning "bone" and πόρος/poros meaning "pore") is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone microarchitecture deteriorates, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone are altered. Osteoporosis is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a bone mineral density of 2.5 standard deviations or more below the mean peak bone mass (average of young, healthy adults) as measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; the term "established osteoporosis" includes the presence of a fragility fracture. The disease may be classified as primary type 1, primary type 2, or secondary. The form of osteoporosis most common in women after menopause is referred to as primary type 1 or postmenopausal osteoporosis. Primary type 2 osteoporosis or senile osteoporosis occurs after age 75 and is seen in both females and males at a ratio of 2:1. Secondary osteoporosis may arise at any age and affect men and women equally. This form results from chronic predisposing medical problems or disease, or prolonged use of medications such as glucocorticoids, when the disease is called steroid- or glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.

Zinc, in commerce also spelter, is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element of group 12 of the periodic table. In some respects zinc is chemically similar to magnesium: its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most common zinc ore is sphalerite (zinc blende), a zinc sulfide mineral. The largest mineable amounts are found in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Zinc production includes froth flotation of the ore, roasting, and final extraction using electricity (electrowinning).

Researchers have concluded:

  • Our study suggests that values of uNTx, uZn and sOC were significantly lower in the patient group than those in control group and in postmenopausal women with osteopororsis, calcitonin reduces the concentrations of uNTx, uZn and sOC.1
  • Our study suggests that in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, both alendronate and calcitonin reduce the concentrations of uNTx, uZn, and sOC, the effect of the alendronate dose administered being significantly earlier and more pronounced. Measurement of uNTx, uZn, and sOC might be a useful biochemical method of observing the positive clinical effect following alendronate or calcitonin therapy in postmenopausal women.2
  • Mg levels in red blood cells are significantly lower in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. It is concluded that Mg transport mechanism(s) into the cell could be affected in patients with osteoporosis.3
  • Dietary zinc intake and plasma zinc each have a positive association with BMD in men.4

Review all research »

Strength of evidence

Zinc for Osteoporosis ranks in the bottom 49% of condition-treatment relationships we analyzed.

Importantly, we found 9 studies that were randomized and controlled. Such studies are considered the most rigorous, and help to establish or disprove a cause-and-effect relationship between prospective treatments and conditions. So there may be some good evidence on which to make a decision about using Zinc for Osteoporosis.

Amount of research

The relationship between Osteoporosis and Zinc has been modestly researched. We found 204 relevant research articles on the topic. This places the volume of research in the bottom 43% of condition-treatment relationships we analyzed.

Research trends

Are researchers becoming more or less interested in Zinc for Osteoporosis? The pace of research appears to be increasing:

Important caveat—help improve this information

Please note that our analysis is automated and imperfect. If you have personal insight, please help improve our analysis by rating this relationship and the research supporting it. And check back regularly; we last analyzed research for this relationship on Jul 22, 2014, and are constantly updating our database and algorithms.


Other names
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