Author(s): Bates J, McClain CJ
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Concentrations of three serum transport proteins, albumin, transferrin, and prealbumin, were determined in seven patients with severe zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency was manifested not only by depressed serum zinc concentrations, but also by skin lesions typical of zinc deficiency that corrected with zinc supplementation only. Concentrations of all three serum proteins were significantly depressed in zinc-deficient patients compared to healthy controls, and levels of all three proteins improved or corrected with a short period of zinc supplementation as the sole form of therapeutic intervention. Prealbumin levels dropped and corrected most rapidly, probably due in part to its short half-life of 2 days. This study demonstrates that zinc plays an important role in protein metabolism in man and is necessary for the maintenance of normal levels of certain transport proteins. These results support the possibility that zinc deficiency may alter tissue availability of other nutrients such as vitamin A or iron through its effect on transport proteins.
This article was published in Am J Clin Nutr
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access