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Zinc and Sepsis

by Wiebke Alker 1,2 and Hajo Haase 1,2,*
1
Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology, Berlin Institute of Technology, 13355 Berlin, Germany
2
TraceAge—DFG Research Unit on Interactions of Essential Trace Elements in Healthy and Diseased Elderly, Potsdam-Berlin-Jena, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080976
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Immune Function)
Sepsis, defined as a “life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host-response to infection” is a major health issue worldwide and still lacks a fully elucidated pathobiology and uniform diagnostic tests. The trace element zinc is known to be crucial to ensure an appropriate immune response. During sepsis a redistribution of zinc from serum into the liver has been observed and several studies imply a correlation between zinc and sepsis outcome. Therefore the alterations of zinc concentrations in different tissues might serve as one part of the host’s defense mechanism against pathogens during sepsis by diverse mechanisms. It has been suggested that zinc is involved in nutritional immunity, acts as a hepatoprotective agent, or a differentiation signal for innate immune cells, or supports the synthesis of acute phase proteins. Further knowledge about these events could help in the evaluation of how zinc could be optimally applied to improve treatment of septic patients. Moreover, the changes in zinc homeostasis are substantial and correlate with the severity of the disease, suggesting that zinc might also be useful as a diagnostic marker for evaluating the severity and predicting the outcome of sepsis. View Full-Text
Keywords: zinc; sepsis; biomarker; supplementation; homeostasis zinc; sepsis; biomarker; supplementation; homeostasis
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Alker, W.; Haase, H. Zinc and Sepsis. Nutrients 2018, 10, 976.

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