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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011 Apr;25(2):85-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Zinc supplementation and TNF-α levels in vaccinated cardiac patients.

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Unit of Social Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.



To investigate whether zinc supplementation could affect serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels in congenital and acquired cardiac patients attending for an influenza vaccine.


9-18 years old, voluntary children with cardiac disease were weighed, measured height and blood samples for hemoglobin level, zinc level, IgA and IgG titers of influenza A and B serotypes and TNF-α levels were obtained. The children were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: ZV group received both zinc supplementation and influenza vaccine; V group received influenza vaccine. Serum TNF-α levels were measured at 28 days after the immunization.


Mean (±SD) serum zinc level was 100 (±20) μg/dL. Cases with congenital heart disease had lower serum zinc levels than acquired ones (93±17 μg/dL, 116±18 μg/dL; respectively, p<0.001). Median titers of serum TNF-α decreased after vaccination (78.9 pg/mL, 74.8 pg/mL; p<0.05) but this significant change occurred only in ZV group (77.1 pg/mL, 73.4 pg/mL; p=0.001). Vaccine associated adverse events were similar in ZV and V groups except malaise (0% in ZV and 23.8% in V group; p<0.05). Adverse events were similar in patients with congenital and acquired heart diseases. During the previous influenza season, 77.3% had more than two episodes of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), however, after vaccination only 13.6% had more than two episode of URTI.


Zinc supplementation has a beneficial effect on malaise, one of the influenza vaccine associated adverse events, and decrease serum TNF-α levels.

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