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January 11, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(2):110-111. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880020036013

The physical characteristics of bone are more obvious than its metabolic activity. The fact that bone is hard and rigid and appears so admirably to fulfil its mechanical functions is likely to turn attention from its capacity as a labile reservoir of mineral salts. Long before actual experimental demonstration the pathologist was aware of such abnormalities of mineralization or of decalcification as rickets, scurvy, osteitis fibrosa cystica and osteoporosis. More than a decade ago it was demonstrated1 that restriction of experimental animals to a salt poor ration not only reduced the proportion of total bone ash but actually altered the chemical composition of the salt deposited in the growing skeleton. The mobilization of minerals from the skeleton is influenced by certain of the hormones. The thyroid hormones have been used in the removal of lead from the body after lead poisoning; the heavy metal appears to be mobilized from

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