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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2003 Summer;93(1-3):75-86.

Zinc supplementation has no effect on lipoprotein metabolism, hemostasis, and putative indices of copper status in healthy men.

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  • 1Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster at Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland.


Pharmacological doses of zinc can adversely affect body copper status. The resulting copper deficiency can impact directly upon cholesterol metabolism and a suboptimal copper status has been observed to influence markers of hemostasis (specifically fibrinogen and the copper-containing coagulation factors V and VIII). The aim of this investigation was to examine the effect of a low level of zinc supplementation, to include dietary intake, at the United States tolerable upper intake level of 40 mg/d upon indicators of lipid metabolism, hemostasis, and copper. Thirty-eight subjects were recruited onto a double-blind placebo-controlled intervention trial and randomly selected to one of two groups. Group 1 took zinc supplements (30 mg/d) for 14 wk followed by copper supplements (3 mg/d) for 8 wk (to counteract adverse effects, if any, of zinc supplementation). A second group took placebo supplements for the full duration of the trial. Estimated dietary zinc intake approximated 10 mg/d. The effect of supplement was analyzed by repeated-measures analysis of variance (anova). Results indicate that no effect of zinc supplementation on putative indices of copper status, lipoprotein metabolism, and markers of hemostasis. These results indicate that short-term low-level zinc supplementation (total intake 40 mg/d) is not detrimental to health.

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