Interaction between dietary zinc and copper during pregnancy in the rat

L. S. Hurley, N. Reinstein, Bo Lonnerdal, C. L. Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of interactions between essential trace elements on their bioavailability and retention is a subject of considerable interest. Hill and Matrone (1) theorized that elements having the same valence shell electronic structure may interact antagonistically, and showed that dietary copper deficiency could be accentuated by excess dietary zinc. Subsequently, it has been shown by several investigators that feeding high levels of dietary zinc can result in reduced liver copper levels (2-4). Conversely, supplemental dietary copper has been shown to alleviate zinc toxicity (5). Recently the relationship between copper and zinc has received increased attention as a result of the suggestion by Klevay that an imbalance between copper and zinc may be an important factor in the etiology of ischemic heart disease (6). As embryonic and fetal development are particularly sensitive to deficiencies of copper and zinc, we have investigated the influence of varying dietary copper and zinc levels, and their ratios, on tissue copper and zinc levels in pregnant rats and their fetuses, and on resorptions and fetal malformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S-543-S-545
JournalNutrition Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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