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Marginal Zinc Deficiency Increases Magnesium Retention and Impairs Calcium Utilization in Rats

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An experiment with rats was conducted to determine whether magnesium retention is increased and calcium utilization is altered by a marginal zinc deficiency and whether increased oxidative stress induced by a marginal copper deficiency exacerbated responses to a marginal zinc deficiency. Weanling rats were assigned to six groups of ten with dietary treatment variables of low zinc (5 mg/kg for 2 weeks and 8 mg/kg for 7 weeks), low copper (1.5 mg/kg), adequate zinc (15 mg/kg), and adequate copper (6 mg/kg). Two groups of rats were fed the adequate-zinc diet with low or adequate copper and pair-fed with corresponding rats fed the low-zinc diet. When compared to the pair-fed rats, marginal zinc deficiency significantly decreased the urinary excretion of magnesium and calcium, increased the concentrations of magnesium and calcium in the tibia, increased the concentration of magnesium in the kidney, and increased the urinary excretion of helical peptide (bone breakdown product). Marginal copper deficiency decreased extracellular superoxide dismutase and glutathione, which suggests increased oxidative stress. None of the variables responding to the marginal zinc deficiency were significantly altered by the marginal copper deficiency. The findings in the present experiment suggest that increased magnesium retention and impaired calcium utilization are indicators of marginal zinc deficiency.
Nielsen, Forrest H.
Includes references
Biological trace element research 2009 June, v. 128, no. 3
Humana Press Inc
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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