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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2001 Jan;79(1):1-13.

The relationship between zinc and copper status and lipid levels in African-Americans.

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Department of Human Nutrition, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa 35487, USA.


Studies examining the role of zinc and copper nutriture as risk factors for cardiovascular disease in European Americans have produced conflicting results. This study assessed the associations between zinc and copper status and serum lipid levels in an adult African-American community. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 600 individuals (233 males, 367 females) from 25 to 65 yr of age using a random sampling design in a small city in Alabama. Anthropometric, dietary, and serum zinc, copper, and lipid measurements were made. The mean serum zinc and copper levels and dietary zinc intake were similar to that reported previously for European Americans. There were no significant associations between serum zinc, copper, or zinc/copper ratio and total serum cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), or triglyceride levels. For males, there was a small but significant association between dietary zinc and the total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (r = -0.17, p = 0.03). Similarly, females taking either zinc supplements or a multivitamin including zinc had higher HDL-C values than nonsupplementing females. Further prospective studies of the relationship between zinc status and lipid levels in African Americans are needed to verify these results.

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