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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1997;67(1):22-6.

Zinc status in vitamin B6 deficiency.

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Department of Human Physiology and Physiological Chemistry, University of Durban-Westville, Durban, South Africa.


Three groups of young male Wistar rats were maintained on diets consisting of 7 mg pyridoxine hydrochloride/kg diet (control and pair-fed groups) and 0 mg pyridoxine hydrochloride/ kg diet (deficient group) for six weeks. The zinc status of all rats was assessed by measuring their erythrocyte zinc-metallothionein-1 (Zn-Mt-1) and plasma zinc levels. A significant difference (p < 0.001) in plasma zinc levels was observed between the deficient group and the control and pair-fed groups (1.35 micrograms/ml +/- 0.08, 1.99 micrograms/ml +/- 0.06 and 2.03 micrograms/ml +/- 0.07 respectively). Erythrocyte Zn-Mt-1 levels were significantly lower in vitamin B6 deficient rats when compared to control animals. No significant difference in Zn-Mt-1 levels existed between vitamin B6 deficient and pair-fed groups suggesting that the reduced Zn-Mt-1 levels in vitamin B6 deficient rats may be due entirely to their decreased food intake (8.9 g/day compared to 15 g/day of control rats).

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