Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency

Date:
August 29, 2013
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
According to new research, a drop in blood zinc levels does not directly harm the blood vessel cells. Rather, zinc regulates the production of a small molecular compound, which circulates in the blood, causing harmful blood vessel cell effects. Additionally, not only will having adequate amounts of zinc prevent the creation of this compound, but it can protect you when the compound is circulating in your blood.

According to new research published in The FASEB Journal, a drop in blood zinc levels does not directly harm the blood vessel cells. Rather, zinc regulates the production of a small molecular compound, which then circulates in the blood and causes harmful blood vessel cell effects. Additionally, not only will having adequate amounts of zinc prevent the creation of this compound, but it can protect you when the compound is circulating in your blood.

"Zinc deficiency afflicts two billion people worldwide and our study has revealed a zinc-regulated small compound in blood that mediates the harmful effects of zinc deprivation," said John H. Beattie, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, U.K. "Measurement of this compound in blood may prove very valuable, not only in assessing, for example, the risk of developing heart attack or stroke, but also as a diagnostic test for zinc status."

To make this discovery, Beattie and colleagues cultured cells from rat blood vessels and exposed them for 24 hours to the blood plasma from rats that had been given food low or adequate in zinc. Then they examined the gene expression profile to identify which genes changed when exposed to blood plasma from low zinc rats. Dramatic changes in some gene activities were found when comparing blood plasma treatments from low and adequate zinc rats. Then the scientists removed the zinc from the zinc-adequate blood plasma and saw that it had no effect on gene activity, suggesting that that there was a harmful compound produced in response to zinc deficiency and that its effects on blood vessel cells is abolished by zinc.

"Most people might think of zinc as a kind of food supplement," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "but zinc deficiency is a serious matter. Understanding how zinc deficiency affects the body is important, not just because it can help us how to treat this deficiency, but also because it presents a new way to detect low zinc in the body that is faster and easier than current methods."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. O. Ou, K. Allen-Redpath, D. Urgast, M.-J. Gordon, G. Campbell, J. Feldmann, G. F. Nixon, C.-D. Mayer, I.-S. Kwun, J. H. Beattie. Plasma zinc's alter ego is a low-molecular-weight humoral factor. The FASEB Journal, 2013; 27 (9): 3672 DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-228791

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110428.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2013, August 29). Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110428.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Potential diagnostic marker for zinc status offers insights into the effects of zinc deficiency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110428.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins