Author(s): Iyengar V, Chou PP, Costantino AG, Cook CB
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Abstract Random samples of urine from control subjects, and subjects treated with methadone (an agonist of morphine) for drug addiction, were analyzed for calcium and trace elements zinc and copper. The following differences (based on creatinine) were observed between the two groups: Calcium excretion did not show any significant differences between the two groups (146 mmg/g creatinine vs. 135 mg/g creatinine vs. 33 +/- 3 micrograms/g creatinine in controls). However, the excretion of copper in drug addicts diminished (23 +/- 3 micrograms/g creatinine in controls; p < 0.05), while that of zinc was excessive (600 +/- 50 micrograms/g creatinine vs. 300 +/- 30 micrograms/g creatinine in controls; p < 0.001). The ever increasing link between zinc and immunity and the fact that drug addicts are susceptible to various infections such as hepatitis and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome raises concern about the excessive urinary loss of zinc in this group and calls for further investigations such as balance studies and intervention if necessary.
This article was published in J Trace Elem Electrolytes Health Dis
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy