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Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 Jun;41(6):1214-9.

Serum alkaline phosphatase and serum zinc levels in the diagnosis and exclusion of zinc deficiency in man.


In the present study we monitored serum zinc (Zn) and serum alkaline phosphatase (AP) levels during Zn supplementation in (A) a young zinc depletion syndrome (ZDS) patient with severe Zn deficiency, (B) three acrodermatitis enteropathica (AEP) patients with mild Zn deficiency and (C) 7 elderly and 3 younger patients without Zn deficiency. In (A) serum Zn and serum AP values were low, but following parenteral Zn the parameters rose to normal levels (r = +0.79, p less than 0.001). In (B) serum Zn and serum AP levels decreased when oral Zn was stopped, but shortly returned to normal upon reinitiation of Zn. In (C) Zn therapy caused a rise in the serum Zn concentration whereas the serum AP activity decreased (r = -0.01, p greater than 0.1). The results suggest that serial determinations of serum Zn and serum AP during Zn supplementation may be a valid tool in the diagnosis of severe and mild Zn deficiency as well as in the exclusion of the diagnosis.

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