Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 31, Issue 7, pp 724–731 | Cite as

Zinc absorption in inflammatory bowel disease

  • L. S. Valberg
  • P. R. Flanagan
  • A. Kertesz
  • D. C. Bondy
Original Articles


Zinc absorption was measured in 29 patients with inflammatory bowel disease and a wide spectrum of disease activity to determine its relationship to disease activity, general nutritional state, and zinc status. Patients with severe disease requiring either supplementary oral or parenteral nutrition were excluded. The mean65ZnCl2 absorption, in the patients, determined using a65Zn and51Cr stool-counting test, 45±17% (SD), was significantly lower than the values, 54±16%, in 30 healthy controls,P<0.05. Low65ZnCl2 absorption was related to undernutrition, but not to disease activity in the absence of undernutrition or to zinc status estimated by leukocyte zinc measurements. Mean plasma zinc or leukocyte zinc concentration in patients did not differ significantly from controls, and only two patients with moderate disease had leukocyte zinc values below the 5th percentile of normal. In another group of nine patients with inflammatory bowel disease of mild-to-moderate severity and minimal nutritional impairment,65Zn absorption from an extrinsically labeled turkey test meal was 31±10% compared to 33±7% in 17 healthy controls,P>0.1. Thus, impairment in65ZnCl2 absorption in the patients selected for this study was only evident in undernourished persons with moderate or severe disease activity, but biochemical evidence of zinc deficiency was uncommon, and clinical features of zinc depletion were not encountered.


Zinc Inflammatory Bowel Disease Turkey Parenteral Nutrition Zinc Absorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Solomons NW, Elson CO, Pekarek RS, Jacob RA, Sandstead HH, Rosenberg IH: Leukocytic endogenous mediator in Crohn's disease. Infect Immun 22:637–639, 1978Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Solomons NW, Rosenberg IH, Sandstead HH, Vo-Khactu KP: Zinc deficiency in Crohn's disease. Digestion 16:87–95, 1977Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nishi Y, Lifshitz F, Bayne MA, Daum F, Silverberg M, Aiges H: Zinc status and its relation to growth retardation in children with chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Clin Nutr 33:2613–2621, 1980Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    McClain CJ, Su LC, Gilbert H, Cameron D: Zinc-deficiency-induced retinal dysfunction in Crohn's disease. Dig Dis Sci 28:85–87, 1983Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Penny WJ, Mayberry JF, Aggett PJ, Gilbert JO, Newcombe RG, Rhodes J: Relationship between trace elements, sugar consumption, and taste in Crohn's disease. Gut 24:288–292, 1983Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sandstead HH: Zinc deficiency in Crohn's disease. Nutr Rev 40:109–112, 1982Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Malnutrition in regional ileitis. Nutr Rev 41:57–59, 1983Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    McClain C, Soutor C, Zieve L: Zinc deficiency: A complication of Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology 78:272–279, 1980Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fleming CR, Huizenga KA, McCall JT, Gildea J, Dennis R: Zinc nutrition in Crohn's disease. Dig Dis Sci 26:865–870, 1981Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mills PR: Zinc and inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Clin Nutr 32:2172–2173, 1979Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wolman SL, Anderson GH, Marliss EB, Jeejeebhoy KN: Zinc in total parenteral nutrition: Requirements and metabolic effects. Gastroenterology 76:458–467, 1979Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sturniolo GC, Molokhia MM, Shields R, Turnberg LA: Zinc absorption in Crohn's disease. Gut 21:387–391, 1980Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Valberg LS, Flanagan PR, Brennan BA, Chamberlain MJ: Does the oral zinc tolerance test measure zinc absorption? Am J Clin Nutr 41:37–42, 1985Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Whitehouse RC, Prasad AS, Rabbani PI, Cossack ZT: Zinc in plasma, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and erythrocytes as determined by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Clin Chem 28:475–480, 1982Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Payton KB, Flanagan PR, Stinson EA, Chodirker DP, Chamberlain MJ, Valberg LS: Technique for determination of human zinc absorption from measurement of radioactivity in a fecal sample or the body. Gastroenterology 83:1264–1270, 1982Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Flanagan PR, Cluett J, Chamberlain MJ, Valberg LS: Dualisotope method for determination of human zinc absorption: The use of a test meal of turkey meat. J Nutr 115:111–122, 1985Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Baker JP, Detsky AS, Wesson DE, Wolman SL, Stewart S, Whitewell J, Langer B, Jeejeebhoy KN: Nutritional assessment. A comparison of clinical judgement and objective measurements. N Engl J Med 306:969–970, 1982Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Morgan MY: Alcohol and nutrition. Br Med Bull 38:21–29, 1982Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khosla T, Lowe CR: Indices of obesity derived from body weight and height. Br J Prev Soc Med 21:122–128, 1967Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baird IM, Silverstone JT, Grimshaw JJ, Ashwell M: Prevalence of obesity in a London Borough. Practitioner 212:706–714, 1974Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Harvey RF, Bradshaw JM: A simple index of Crohn's-disease activity. Lancet 1:514, 1980Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Snedecor GW, Cochran WG: Statistical Methods, 7th ed. Iowa State University Press, Ames, IowaGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ainley CC, Keeling PWN, Thompson RPH: Tissue zinc depletion in Crohn's disease. Gut 24:A463, 1983Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cheek DB, Hill DE, Cordano A, Graham G: Malnutrition in infancy; changes in muscle and adipose tissue before and after rehabilitation. Pediatr Res 4:135–144, 1970Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Fleming CR, Huizenga KA, O'Fallon WN, Gildea J: A prospective analysis of protein energy and zinc status in Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology 80:1149, 1981Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Powell-Tuck J, Garlick PJ, Lennard-Jones JE, Waterlow JC: Rates of whole body protein synthesis and breakdown increase with the severity of inflammatory bowel disease. Gut 25:460–464, 1984Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pedersen B, Eggum BO: Interrelations between protein and zinc utilization in rats. Nutr Rep Int 27:441–453, 1983Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hooda A, Mehta U, Bhat CM: Zinc retention as affected by different levels of dietary zinc and protein in rats. Nutr Rep Int 30:63–70, 1984Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Van Campen D, House WA: Effect of a low protein diet on retention of an oral dose of65Zn and on tissue concentrations of zinc, and copper in rats. J Nutr 104:84–90, 1974Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Greger JL, Snedeker SM: Effect of dietary protein and phosphorus levels on the utilization of zinc, copper and manganese by adult males. J Nutr 110:2243–2253, 1980Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Krawitt EL, Beeken WL, Janney CD: Calcium absorption in Crohn's disease. Gastroenterology 71:251–254, 1976Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bartels U, Pedersen NS, Jarnum S: Iron absorption and serum ferritin in chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Scand J Gastroenterol 13:649–656, 1978Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Morgan RJ, Nelson LM, Russell RI, Main ANH, Hall MJ: Absorption of folic acid, water and electrolytes in apparently normal proximal jejunum of patients with Crohn's disease studied by the technique of intestinal perfusion. Digestion 24:60–65, 1982Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Salem SN, Truelove SC: Small-intestinal and gastric abnormalities in ulcerative colitis. Br Med J 1:827–831, 1965Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Main ANH, Hall MJ, Russell RI, Fell GS, Mills PR, Shenkin A: Clinical experience of zine supplementation during intravenous nutrition in Crohn's disease: Value of serum and urine zinc measurements. Gut 23:984–991, 1982Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Solomons NW, Layden TJ, Rosenberg IH, VoKhactu K, Sandstead HH: Plasma trace metals during total parenteral alimentation. Gastroenterology 70:1022–1025, 1976Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. S. Valberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. R. Flanagan
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Kertesz
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. C. Bondy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity HospitalLondonCanada
  2. 2.the University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations