The authors evaluated bone mineralization by single photon absorptiometry and mineral homeostasis in 7 patients with anorexia nervosa. The patients with anorexia nervosa showed a reduction of bone mineralization in respect to age-sex matched normal values. Serum levels of calcium, ionized calcium, phosphate, magnesium, alkaline phosphatase, calcitonin and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were normal as well as phosphate and hydroxyproline urinary excretion. Osteocalcin levels were significantly low as compared to normal values (5.0 +/- 3.0 ng/ml vs 14.3 +/- 5.2 ng/ml, p less than 0.01) as well as urinary calcium excretion (0.02 +/- 1.01 vs 0.08 +/- 0.06, p less than 0.05); 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D values were low only in 4 patients. Parathyroid hormone means levels were increased in respect to normal values (74.1 +/- 12.7 pg/ml vs 38.0 +/- 12.0, p less than 0.02). We confirm that adolescents with anorexia nervosa showed a reduced bone mineral content and alterations of mineral homeostasis that may contribute to the development of bone mineral loss.