The Use of Vitamins and Minerals in Skeletal Health

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology Position Statement

Daniel L. Hurley, MD, FACE; Neil Binkley, MD, FACE; Pauline M. Camacho, MD, FACE; Dima L. Diab, MD, FACE, FACP, CCD; Kurt A. Kennel, MD, FACE; Alan Malabanan, MD, FACE, CCD; Vin Tangpricha, MD, PhD, FACE


Endocr Pract. 2018;24(10):915-924. 

In This Article

Trace Elements

Trace elements ae essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of body tissues, including bone. Many over-the-counter supplements containing trace elements are advertised as beneficial for bone health and prevention of bone loss, but to date, there are no long-term, high-quality studies that show fracture risk reduction. A recent meta-analysis found lower serum levels of zinc, copper, or iron in patients with osteoporosis than healthy controls.[100] In a small cross-sectional study, patients with bone loss were found to have significantly lower serum levels of zinc and copper, although no differences were observed in those with osteopenia and osteoporosis.[101] In postmenopausal women, plasma and red blood cell trace element concentrations were not significantly different between those with and without osteoporosis for zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.[102] A study in postmenopausal women reported a positive association of serum zinc with BMD, but no correlation to serum levels of copper or selenium was observed.[103] In contrast, the 6-year, prospective Osteoporosis and Ultrasound Study found that higher selenium levels are associated with lower bone turnover markers and greater BMD in postmenopausal women, both at study baseline and 6-year follow-up.[104] Although trace elements are necessary for normal bone development,[105] their efficacy in the treatment of osteoporosis remains unclear.