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Am J Hum Biol. 2013 Jul-Aug;25(4):550-4. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22408. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Dietary zinc intake is inversely associated to metabolic syndrome in male but not in female urban adolescents.

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Physiological Sciences Department, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; Nutrition Group, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.



To evaluate the relationship of copper and zinc dietary intakes with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adolescents.


The sample consisted of 1,311 adolescents aged 11-16 years, and MetS definition by de Ferranti et al. was used. Nutritional intakes, anthropometrical and biochemical markers were measured.


In males, highest quartile of zinc intake was inversely associated with MetS without and with adjustment by covariables. Without adjustment, highest quartile of copper intake was inversely associated (marginal significance) with MetS, but with adjustment, the relationship was not maintained. Likewise in male gender, elevated waist circumference was the only MetS component inversely associated with highest quartiles of zinc (without and with adjustment) and copper (significant in crude analysis and marginal significant in adjustment by covariables) intakes. In the girls, only waist circumference was significant and inversely associated with highest quartiles of zinc and copper intakes but the association did not remain significant after adjustments.


In the adolescents of this study, zinc intake could be more associated to a clustering of anthropometric, vascular, and metabolic alterations than to these alterations separately, and also it is inversely related to this clustering (MetS). However, studies in other populations are necessary to confirm and explain the finding of exclusive association zinc intake-MetS in male gender adolescents. Further research is required to explore biomarkers of physiological processes (antioxidant function, blood flow regulation, and epigenetic modulation dependent of zinc) in relation to zinc intake and MetS in pediatric and adult populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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