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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Jun 15;9(1):59. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-59.

Zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C status are associated with leptin concentrations and obesity in Mexican women: results from a cross-sectional study.

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School of Natural Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Av, De la Ciencia S/N, Juriquilla, Querétaro, 76230, Mexico.



The prevalence of obesity among Mexican women is high and it could be related to micronutrient status. We evaluated in a cross-sectional study the associations of zinc and vitamins A, C and E concentrations with BMI, central adiposity, body fat and leptin concentration.


Women aged 37 ± 7.5 years (n = 580) from 6 rural communities in Mexico were evaluated. Anthropometric measurements included weight, height, waist and hip circumference. A fasting blood sample was taken for the analysis of glucose, lipid profile, leptin, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E. Body composition was determined by DEXA (Hologic Mod Explorer).


The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 36% (BMI > 25 Kg/m2) and 44% (BMI > 30 Kg/m2), respectively. Prevalence of zinc and vitamins C and E deficiencies were similar in obese, overweight and normal weight women. No vitamin A deficiency was found. Vitamin C was negatively associated with BMI, waist-to-height ratio, and leptin concentrations (p < 0.05). Vitamin A was positively associated with leptin (p < 0.05). When stratifying by BMI, % body fat and waist circumference, high leptin concentrations were associated with lower zinc and lower vitamin C concentrations in women with obesity (p < 0.05) and higher vitamin A concentrations in women without obesity (p < 0.01). Vitamin E status was not associated with any markers of obesity.


Zinc and vitamins A and C are associated with obesity, adiposity and leptin concentration in women from rural Mexico, and may play an important role in fat deposition. The causality of these associations needs to be confirmed.

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