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Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jun;49(6):1266-73.

A growth-limiting, mild zinc-deficiency syndrome in some southern Ontario boys with low height percentiles.

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Department of Family Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


A double-blind, pair-matched 12-mo study examined the effects of a zinc supplement (10 mg Zn/d as ZnSO4) on linear growth, taste acuity, attention span, biochemical indices, and energy intakes of 60 boys (aged 5-7 y) with height less than or equal to 15th and midparent height greater than 25th percentiles. Boys with initial hair Zn less than 1.68 mumol/g (n = 16) had a lower mean (+/- SD) weight-for-age Z score (-0.44 +/- 0.59 vs -0.08 +/- 0.84), and a higher median recognition threshold for salt (15 vs 7.5 mmol; p = 0.02) than those with hair Zn greater than 1.68 mumol/g. Only boys with hair Zn less than 1.68 mumol/g responded to the Zn supplement with a higher mean change in height-for-age Z score (p less than 0.05); taste acuity, energy intakes, and attention span were unaffected. A growth-limiting Zn deficiency syndrome exists in boys with low height percentiles, hair Zn levels less than 1.68 mumol/g, and impaired taste acuity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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