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Zinc Status Index (ZSI) for Quantification of Zinc Physiological Status

Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Stocking Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, Philip E. Austin Building, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roberto Iacone
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3399;
Received: 27 August 2021 / Revised: 23 September 2021 / Accepted: 26 September 2021 / Published: 27 September 2021
Zinc (Zn) deficiency is estimated to affect over one billion (17%) of the world’s population. Zn plays a key role in various cellular processes such as differentiation, apoptosis, and proliferation, and is used for vital biochemical and structural processes in the body. Widely used biomarkers of Zn status include plasma, whole blood, and urine Zn, which decrease in severe Zn deficiency; however, accurate assessment of Zn status, especially in mild to moderate deficiency, is difficult, as studies with these biomarkers are often contradictory and inconsistent. Thus, sensitive and specific biological markers of Zn physiological status are still needed. In this communication, we provide the Zn status index (ZSI) concept, which consists of a three-pillar formula: (1) the LA:DGLA ratio, (2) mRNA gene expression of Zn-related proteins, and (3) gut microbiome profiling to provide a clear assessment of Zn physiological status and degree of Zn deficiency with respect to assessing dietary Zn manipulation. Analysis of five selected studies found that with lower dietary Zn intake, erythrocyte LA:DGLA ratio increased, mRNA gene expression of Zn-related proteins in duodenal and liver tissues was altered, and gut microbiota populations differed, where the ZSI, a statistical model trained on data from these studies, was built to give an accurate estimation of Zn physiological status. However, the ZSI needs to be tested and refined further to determine its full potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: zinc biomarker; microbiome; LA:DGLA; ∆6-desaturase; zinc deficiency; zinc transporters zinc biomarker; microbiome; LA:DGLA; ∆6-desaturase; zinc deficiency; zinc transporters
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cheng, J.; Bar, H.; Tako, E. Zinc Status Index (ZSI) for Quantification of Zinc Physiological Status. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3399.

AMA Style

Cheng J, Bar H, Tako E. Zinc Status Index (ZSI) for Quantification of Zinc Physiological Status. Nutrients. 2021; 13(10):3399.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cheng, Jacquelyn, Haim Bar, and Elad Tako. 2021. "Zinc Status Index (ZSI) for Quantification of Zinc Physiological Status" Nutrients 13, no. 10: 3399.

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