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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1997;67(2):102-5.

Zinc, copper and iron levels in tissues of the vitamin B6 deficient rat.

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


Tissue zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and iron (Fe) were determined in three groups of young male Wistar rats that received a daily pyridoxine hydrochloride (PN.HCl) intake of 45, 23 and 0 micrograms respectively in their diets over 8 weeks. No significant differences were found in the Zn and Cu levels in the liver, kidney, skeletal and cardiac tissue of all 3 groups. The Fe levels were significantly higher in the heart and liver and significantly lower in the skeletal muscle of the group receiving no PN.HCl in the diet (P < 0.05). This study indicates that the increased fecal excretion of Zn and Cu observed during a previous balance study on the above vitamin B6 deficient group of animals may be due to a decreased absorption of these elements from the diet rather than their excretion from tissue stores. The changes in Fe levels in the heart, liver and skeletal muscle points towards some alteration in tissue stores of this element during a vitamin B6 deficiency.

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