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Miner Electrolyte Metab. 1987;13(3):178-82.

Influence of dietary zinc content on sodium and potassium metabolism in the rat.


The effect of dietary zinc on the sodium and potassium levels in plasma, soft and peripheral tissues, bone and hair were determined. Sodium levels in plasma, lung and skin of rats fed on a zinc-deficient diet (1.0 microgram/Zn/g) for 4 weeks were significantly lower than those of rats fed on a zinc-sufficient diet (37.5 micrograms Zn/g). Also when rats were fed a zinc-supplemented diet (1 mg Zn/g), sodium levels in hair, femur, muscle and skin were significantly lower than in controls. Interestingly, hair sodium levels were inversely related to the zinc contents in the diets. The potassium levels in fumur, lung, liver, kidney, muscle and skin in zinc-deficient rats and those in hair, femur and skin in zinc-supplemented rats were lower than in controls. In heart they were higher than in controls when rats were fed on either a zinc-deficient or zinc-supplemented diet, but the levels in the kidney increased in relation to the zinc contents in the diets. These results suggest that dietary zinc influences the body sodium and potassium status of animals, that the influence of dietary zinc on organ and peripheral tissues is tissue-specific, that zinc supplementation appears to be beneficial for salt balance of kidney, and that hair sodium content may be a new criterion as to the zinc status of human subjects.

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