Osteoporosis: Trace Elements - Zinc/Copper

Trace Elements and VitaminsTrace Elements
As the name suggests, only trace amounts of some minerals are needed for the body to function properly. Taken as supplements, certain trace elements can promote bone formation and help to prevent osteoporosis. Most people get enough trace elements in their diets. However, for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, supplements can be helpful.

A zinc deficiency is associated with decreases in bone density. Likewise, copper is an important mineral in the normal growth and development of the skeletal system. That is why it is important to maintain adequate levels of zinc and copper in your diet to prevent and/or treat osteoporosis.

Supplements of zinc and copper need to be balanced. As a rule of thumb, every 30mg of zinc needs to be balanced by 2mg of copper. Recommended doses for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis are 15mg to 30mg zinc and 1.5mg to 3mg copper a day.

Food sources that contain zinc include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Oats
  • Oysters
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Rye
  • Split peas

Food sources that contain copper include:

  • Buckwheat
  • Crab
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Split peas
  • Vegetable oils (sunflower, olive)
Updated on: 08/17/15
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