Effects of zinc supplementation on the zinc content of plasma, erythrocytes, hair, serum copper, and hematocrit values in adult females



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Texas Tech University


The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of zinc supplementation on the zinc content of plasma, erythrocytes, and hair, and on serum copper and hematocrit values. Thirty-one female subjects (41-78 years of age) were randomly assigned to one of three levels of zinc supplementation: 0 (control), 15, and 50 mg of zinc as zinc acetate. The experimental phase of zinc supplementation was 2 months in length with a one month follow-up. Diet histories and health information were collected by personal interview prior to the study. Hair samples and plasma, serum and erythrocytes were wet-ashed and analyzed for zinc and/or copper content using atomic absorption spectrophotometry.

Data indicated no significant correlation between zinc supplementation and zinc content of plasma, erythrocytes or hair. No significant differences were seen between zinc-supplemented groups and erythrocyte zinc, hair zinc, serum copper or hematrocrit levels. A significant increase (p<.05) was noted in plasma zinc at the eighth week of supplementation for the 50 mg group. A significant difference (p<.01) was noted in mean plasma zinc (for the 50 mg group) over the supplemental period.



Women -- Nutrition, Zinc in the body, Zinc -- Metabolism