Clinical Aspects of Trace Elements: Zinc in Human Nutrition – Zinc Deficiency and ToxicityReportar como inadecuado

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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology - Volume 10 1996, Issue 2, Pages 97-103

Nutrition Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 16 August 1994; Revised 23 January 1995

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License CC BY-NC, which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


Available evidence suggests that trace elements, such as zinc, once thought to have no nutritional relevance, are possibly deficient in large sections of the human population. Conditioned deficiencies have been reported to result from malabsorption syndromes, acrodermatitis enteropathica, alcoholism, gastrointestinal disease, thermal injury, chronic diseases eg, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and in total parenteral nutrition therapy. Awareness that patients with these problems are at risk has led health professionals to focus increasingly on the importance of zinc therapy in the prevention and treatment of deficiency. More recently zinc toxicity and its role in human nutrition and well-being have come under investigation. Reports have focused on the role of zinc toxicity in causes of copper deficiency, changes in the immune system and alterations in blood lipids. As the numerous challenges presented by the study of zinc in human nutrition are met, more appropriate recommendations for dietary and therapeutic zinc intake are being made.

Autor: Michelle M Pluhator, Alan Br Thomson, and Richard N Fedorak



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