Changes in dietary zinc and copper affect zinc-status indicators of postmenopausal women, notably, extracellular superoxide dismutase and amyloid precursor proteins.Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(3):781-8AJ
Zinc is an essential trace element for human health and well-being; however, methods currently available for the assessment of zinc status in humans are unsatisfactory.
The objective was to critically evaluate the use of various indicators of zinc status in humans in a controlled metabolic ward study.
Indicators of zinc status were measured in 25 healthy postmenopausal women aged 64.9 +/- 6.7 y. After a 10-d equilibration period, volunteers consumed a diet with either a low (1 mg/d; n = 12) or a high (3 mg/d; n = 13) copper content based on a total energy content of 8.4 MJ. They received the same amount of copper throughout the study. Both groups were fed the basal diet (3 mg Zn/d) with no zinc supplement for one 90-d period, and the diet supplemented with 50 mg Zn/d for another 90-d period.
Zinc supplementation significantly increased (P < 0.0001) extracellular but not erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity. This increase was more apparent when subjects were fed the low-copper diet. Zinc supplementation in combination with the low-copper diet significantly decreased (P < 0.01) amyloid precursor protein expression in platelets. Other indicators of zinc status that were significantly elevated after zinc supplementation were as follows: plasma zinc and free thyroxine concentrations and mononuclear 5'-nucleotidase activity.
The measurement of serum extracellular superoxide dismutase activity may be useful as a marker for the functional assessment of zinc status in humans.