The effects of vitamin E on zinc deficiency teratogenesis in rats

L. S. Hurley, D. D. Dungan, Carl L Keen, B. Lonnerdal

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8 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that zinc deficiency may interfere with fatty acid metabolism, possibly by increasing the rate of lipid peroxidation. The hypothesis was investigated that the teratogenicity of zinc deficiency might be alleviated by vitamin E supplementation. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed during pregnancy a complete purified diet containing either 100μg zinc/gram diet (control) or <0.4 μg zinc/gram diet (deficient). Half of the animals in each diet group received supplemental vitamin E (200 x control). At term, fetuses were removed, examined for malformations, resorption sites were counted, and maternal and fetal tissues were analyzed for zinc concentration. Vitamin E supplementation of the control diet did not produce teratogenic effects. The number of total sites affected (resorptions + malformed fetuses) in the zinc-deficient groups was not influenced by vitamin E supplementation. Tissue zinc was significantly lower in the zinc-deficient groups, but vitamin E supplementation had no effect. These results show that vitamin E supplementation does not ameliorate the teratogenicity of zinc deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1875-1877
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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