Zinc is an essential trace element, stored mainly in muscle. Approximately 80 % of circulating zinc is present in the red cells. Zinc is a component of many enzymes, required for transcription factors, antioxidant function, immune system, respiration and neurological function, and is crucial for normal growth and maturation.
Suspected deficiency: symptoms include mouth ulcers, a characteristic rash, alopecia, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, with depression and lethargy; classically seen in a high phytate diet.
There is increased risk of zinc deficiency in elderly, alcoholic, critically ill patients, burns, excessive/prolonged gastrointestinal losses and high phytate diets.
Rare inborn errors e.g. acrodermatitis entropathica
Monitoring of nutritional requirements for patients receiving parenteral nutrition or after bariatric surgery
Sample Required Serum: Trace element free (royal blue top). Standard blood tubes are often contaminated with zinc and are not acceptable.Urine: Sterile universal 24 hour collection
Sample Volume 0.5 mL
Stable at 2-8oC.
Sample can be sent by first class post.
Grossly haemolysed samples are unsuitable for this assay.