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J Nutr. 1977 Dec;107(12):2219-27.

Effect of low zinc intake and oral contraceptive agents on nitrogen utilization and clinical findings in young women.


In a previous paper we reported that serum, urine and fecal zinc levels fell markedly in women taking a combination oral contraceptive agent (+OCA) and in women with normal menstrual cycles (-OCA) when they consumed a low-zinc diet (less than 0.2 mg/day) for 35 days. We evaluated other biochemical and clinical data in order to determine if depletion of accessible body zinc and/or physiologic adjustment to conserve body zinc stores had occurred. Neither low zinc intake nor oral contraceptive use appeared to influence nitrogen balance or body weight. Use of contraceptive drugs appeared to influence the response of blood parameters to zinc depletion. Serum transferrin and cholesterol declined significantly in the -OCA group, whereas alkaline phosphatase and gamma-globulin changed significantly in both groups. Clinical problems developed in all the subjects with serum zinc levels below 50 microgram/dl during the study; three of the six with serum zinc levels above 50 microgram/dl also complained of clinical symptoms. The results suggest that zinc deficiency through depletion of accessible body zinc stores developed during the 35-day study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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