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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 143  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 238-244

Compromised zinc status of experimental rats as a consequence of prolonged iron & calcium supplementation

Department of Biochemistry & Nutrition, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India

Correspondence Address:
Kalpana Platel
Department of Biochemistry & Nutrition, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore 570 020, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.180221

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Background & objectives: Iron supplementation is usually given to pregnant and lactating women who may also have marginal deficiency of zinc. The negative impact of supplemental iron and calcium on zinc status is a cause of concern. The present investigation was undertaken to examine the effect of inclusion of iron and calcium in the diet at supplementary levels on zinc status of experimental rats. Methods: Groups of experimental rats were maintained on diets supplemented with iron (Molar ratio - Zn:Fe 1:30) and calcium (Molar ratio - Zn:Ca 1:667) both individually and in combination for six weeks. Zinc status of these rats was assessed by determining zinc concentration in circulation and in organs, and the activities of zinc containing enzymes in serum and liver. Results: The zinc status of experimental rats receiving supplemental levels of iron and calcium was significantly compromised. Zinc concentration in serum, kidney, spleen and liver was reduced significantly by both these minerals. Six weeks of supplementation of iron and calcium individually, significantly reduced the activity of liver and serum superoxide dismutase and alkaline phosphatase. Activity of liver alcohol dehydrogenase was lowered in calcium supplemented group and in calcium + iron supplemented group, while that of carbonic anhydrase was significantly reduced by iron, calcium and their combination. Interpretation & conclusions: Supplemental levels of iron and calcium, both individually and in combination, significantly compromised the zinc status of experimental rats. This negative effect of these two minerals was more prominent when these were supplemented for a period of six weeks.

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