Abstract of the 6th International Workshop On Phosphate and Other Minerals
Verona, June 24-26, 1983
Phosphorus Deficiency as a Common Cause of Two Related Diseases
Institute or Pathology, University of Umeå, Sweden
Anorexia nervosa and scoliosis can be regarded as kin diseases, both originating from the same cause which is phosphorus deficiency. They affect mainly the same sex and age group, namely young girls during their last stage of rapid growth, the adolescence. All rapid growth leads to phosphorus deficiency even it the diet is adequate. Young girls’ diet, however, is often deficient in proteins and thus also in phosphate. The result is starvation acidosis. All kinds of acidoses lead to output of P from the cell. This counteracts the input of P and K by the insulin and results in disturbance of the phosphorylation and metabolic processes and in reduced energy production. This is the dominating causal factor in anorexia, whereas disturbed mineralization due to phosphorus deficiency prevails in scoliosis affecting the spine which at that age is not yet fully developed. Earlier there used to be a disease in cattle which corresponds to anorexia. After a period of poor feed the will to live would vanish and the animals starve to death even when the feed improved in the spring. This disease has disappeared completely nowadays, as all cattle are given sufficient amounts of phosphate with large supplies of mineral feed. Phosphate treatment by means of injections and phosphated salts per os is likely to check the progression of both these diseases.