The Potential for Zinc Stable Isotope Techniques and Modelling to Determine Optimal Zinc Supplementation

Cuong Tran, Geetha Gopalsamy, Elissa Mortimer, Graeme Young

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    It is well recognised that zinc deficiency is a major global public health issue, particularly in young children in low-income countries with diarrhoea and environmental enteropathy. Zinc supplementation is regarded as a powerful tool to correct zinc deficiency as well as to treat a variety of physiologic and pathologic conditions. However, the dose and frequency of its use as well as the choice of zinc salt are not clearly defined regardless of whether it is used to treat a disease or correct a nutritional deficiency. We discuss the application of zinc stable isotope tracer techniques to assess zinc physiology, metabolism and homeostasis and how these can address knowledge gaps in zinc supplementation pharmacokinetics. This may help to resolve optimal dose, frequency, length of administration, timing of delivery to food intake and choice of zinc compound. It appears that long-term preventive supplementation can be administered much less frequently than daily but more research needs to be undertaken to better understand how best to intervene with zinc in children at risk of zinc deficiency. Stable isotope techniques, linked with saturation response and compartmental modelling, also have the potential to assist in the continued search for simple markers of zinc status in health, malnutrition and disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4271-4295
    Number of pages25
    JournalNutrients
    Volume7
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

    Keywords

    • Child health
    • Diarrhoea
    • Global health
    • Kinetics
    • Modelling
    • Stable isotope
    • Zinc

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