Association between plasma zinc concentration and zinc kinetic parameters in premenopausal women

Katsuhiko Yokoi, Norman G. Egger, V. M.Sadagopa Ramanujam, Nancy W. Alcock, Hari H. Dayal, James G. Penland, Harold H. Sandstead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to measure relationships between plasma zinc (Zn) concentrations and Zn kinetic parameters and to measure relationships of Zn status with taste acuity, food frequency, and hair Zn in humans. The subjects were 33 premenopausal women not taking oral contraceptives and dietary supplements containing iron and Zn. Main outcomes were plasma Zn concentrations, Zn kinetic parameters based on the three-compartment mammillary model using 67Zn as a tracer, electrical taste detection thresholds, and food frequencies. Lower plasma Zn was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with smaller sizes of the central and the lesser peripheral Zn pools, faster disappearance of tracer from plasma, and higher transfer rate constants from the lesser peripheral pool to the central pool and from the central pool to the greater peripheral pool. The break points in the plasma Zn-Zn kinetics relationship were found between 9.94 and 11.5 μmol/l plasma Zn. Smaller size of the lesser peripheral pool was associated with lower frequency of beef consumption and higher frequency of bran breakfast cereal consumption. Hypozincemic women with plasma Zn <10.7 μmol/l or 700 ng/ml had decreased thresholds of electrical stimulation for gustatory nerves. Our results based on Zn kinetics support the conventional cutoff value of plasma Zn (10.7 μmol/l or 700 ng/ml) between normal and low Zn status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1010-E1020
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 48-5
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrical taste threshold
  • Exchangeable zinc pool
  • Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry
  • Iron
  • Zinc-67 stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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