Zinc deficiency

Melanie J. Tuerk, Nasim Fazel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of review Zinc plays an essential role in numerous biochemical pathways. Zinc deficiency affects many organ systems, including the integumentary, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, immune, skeletal, and reproductive systems. This article aims to discuss zinc metabolism and highlights a few of the diseases associated with zinc deficiency. Recent findings Zinc deficiency results in dysfunction of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity and increases the susceptibility to infection. Supplementation of zinc has been shown to reduce the incidence of infection as well as cellular damage from increased oxidative stress. Zinc deficiency is also associated with acute and chronic liver disease. Zinc supplementation protects against toxin-induced liver damage and is used as a therapy for hepatic encephalopathy in patients refractory to standard treatment. Zinc deficiency has also been implicated in diarrheal disease, and supplementation has been effective in both prophylaxis and treatment of acute diarrhea. Summary This article is not meant to review all of the disease states associated with zinc deficiency. Rather, it is an introduction to the influence of the many roles of zinc in the body, with an extensive discussion of the influence of zinc deficiency in selected diseases. Zinc supplementation may be beneficial as an adjunct to treatment of many disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Fingerprint

Zinc
Integumentary System
Hepatic Encephalopathy
Therapeutics
Infection
Cellular Immunity
Liver Diseases
Diarrhea
Oxidative Stress
Chronic Disease
Central Nervous System
Liver

Keywords

  • Acute and chronic liver disease
  • Diarrheal illness
  • Immunity
  • Zinc deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Zinc deficiency. / Tuerk, Melanie J.; Fazel, Nasim.

In: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, Vol. 25, No. 2, 03.2009, p. 136-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tuerk, Melanie J. ; Fazel, Nasim. / Zinc deficiency. In: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 2009 ; Vol. 25, No. 2. pp. 136-143.
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