The Role of Calcium and Fluoride in Osteoporosis in Rhesus Monkeys

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Twenty-two female Rhesus monkeys were fed purified diets varying in calcium and fluoride content for five years and studied, using radiographic, photon absorptiometric and histologic techniques. The results suggested that: 1) the addition of fluoride (50 ppm) to a diet containing 1% calcium resulted in a reduction in bone growth rate and resorption, without affecting bone size or density nor resulting in fluorosis; 2) a diet containing 0.15% calcium resulted in osteoporosis due to an increase in bone resorption; and 3) fluoride added to a similar low calcium diet prevented osteoporosis by reducing bone growth rate and resorption resulting in bones with normal density, but at the same time fluoride interfered with mineralization of osteoid leading to osteomalacia.

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