Article

Low Levels of Zinc in Hair, Anorexia, Poor Growth, and Hypogeusia in Children

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Abstract

Extract: Concentrations of zinc in hair were determined for 338 apparently normal subjects living in Denver with ages ranging from 0–40 years. Mean concentrations of zinc in hair were: neonates (25) 174 ± 8 (1 sem); 3 months-4 years (93) 88 ± 5; 4–17 years (132) 153 ± 5, and 17–40 years (88) 180 ±4. Ten children more than 4 years of age had levels of zinc in hair of less than 70 ppm. Seven of these ten children had a history of poor appetite and eight had heights on or below the 10th percentile; the high incidence of low growth percentiles was not explicable on a familial basis. Taste acuity was tested in six of these children, and five had evidence of objective hypogeusia. After supplementing the diet with small quantities of zinc, taste acuity was normalized in each of these children and levels of zinc in hair increased.

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... Interestingly, an often unrecognized and under-diagnosed inadequate zinc intake is estimated in a 17% of the worldwide population (112) and hypogeusia is one of the most common symptoms reported. In fact, low levels of zinc in saliva have often been observed in those patients suffering hypogeusia (112,113). Thereby, individual differences in zinc levels during the chemotherapy treatment (e.g., due to the different diets) may also aggravate or lead to differences in taste perception alterations. ...
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Thesis--Univ. de Paris.
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