Send to

Choose Destination
Atherosclerosis. 2010 Jun;210(2):344-52. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2009.11.038. Epub 2009 Nov 29.

Effects of zinc on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in humans: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Author information

Discipline of Nutrition and Metabolism, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia.



Studies in humans and animals suggest that zinc has the potential to affect lipoprotein metabolism and hence impact cardiovascular disease risk.


A meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials was conducted to determine the effect of zinc supplementation on plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in humans. Potentially relevant studies were identified from a literature search covering the period 1980-2008 (inclusive), and additional citation searches.


Thirty three interventions (n=14,238 subjects) were included in the random effects meta-analysis. No overall significant effects of zinc supplementation were observed for plasma cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or plasma triglyceride concentrations. Plasma zinc concentrations increased significantly (+2.42+/-0.25 micromol/L, P<0.001; n=14,047). Secondary analyses in individuals classified as healthy revealed that zinc supplementation is associated with a significant decrease in plasma HDL cholesterol concentrations (-0.10+/-0.02 mmol/L, P<0.001; n=13,215), equivalent to a 7% decrease from baseline.


No effect of zinc supplementation on plasma lipoproteins was detected in the overall analysis. In individuals classified as healthy, zinc supplementation is associated with a decrease in HDL cholesterol concentrations and thus contributes to an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center