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