Zinc Deficiency Reduces Bone Density in Rats


Zinc deficiency reduces bone mineral density in the spine of young adult rats: a pilot study.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of zinc deficiency initiated during adolescence on skeletal densitometry, serum markers of bone metabolism, femur minerals and morphometry in young adult rats. Ten-week-old male rats were fed a <1-mg Zn/kg diet (9ZD), a 5-mg Zn/kg diet (9MZD) or a 30-mg Zn/kg diet (9CTL) for up to 9 weeks. Analyses included bone mineral density, serum osteocalcin and C-terminal peptides of type I collagen, serum zinc, femur zinc, calcium and phosphorus, and femur morphometry. Bone mineral density was 14% lower in the spine of 9ZD, but was not altered in the whole body, tibia or femur, or in any of the aforementioned sites in 9MZD, compared to 9CTL. When adjusted for size, spine bone mineral apparent density was still 8% lower in 9ZD than 9CTL. Serum osteocalcin, a marker for bone formation, was approximately 33% lower in 9ZD compared to both 9MZD and 9CTL. The 9ZD and 9MZD had 57% lower femur zinc and 56-88% lower serum zinc concentrations compared to 9CTL. These findings indicate that severe zinc deficiency initiated during adolescence may have important implications for future bone health, especially with regards to bone consolidation in the spine.

Ryz NR, Weiler HA, Taylor CG
Ann. Nutr. Metab. 2009
PMID: 19506366