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Atherosclerosis. 1988 Apr;70(3):247-52.

The effect of zinc supplements on lipoproteins and copper status.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


As part of a study to determine the effect of 150 mg zinc/day on plasma lipoproteins, healthy young female (n = 26; mean age 27 years) and male (n = 21; mean age 28 years) volunteers took part in a double-blind cross-over trial lasting 12 weeks. During 6 weeks of supplementation, plasma Zn rose significantly in both groups, indicating compliance. Plasma total cholesterol remained unchanged in both males and females. However, mean LDL-cholesterol decreased from 2.38 to 2.17 mmol/l in females and there was a trend for total HDL-cholesterol to be redistributed in that HDL2 rose and HDL3 fell slightly. In parallel with these changes in females, Zn supplements reduced the ferroxidase activity of serum caeruloplasmin (from 13.0 to 11.3 U/ml) and the antioxidant activity of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (E-SOD) (from 4557 to 3638 U/g Hb) and CuZn E-SOD (from 2184 to 1672 U/g Hb). Plasma Cu and haematocrit were unaffected. No such changes were seen in males in either lipoproteins or these indicators of Cu status. Since the females were lighter than the males but received the same dose, a dose-response effect rather than a sex difference cannot be ruled out. Overall, Zn supplements significantly decrease a major risk factor for CHD in females but reduced their Cu status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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