Numerous studies indicate that zinc and the new zinc-related adipokine, zinc-α2-glycoprotein (ZAG), are involved in lipid metabolism. Excess body fat lowers blood concentrations of Zn and ZAG, leading not only to the development of obesity but also to other components of the metabolic syndrome. Zinc homeostasis disorders in the body negatively affect the lipid profile and cytokine secretion. Zinc appears to be a very important ZAG homeostasis regulator. The physiological effects of ZAG are related to lipid metabolism, but studies show that ZAG also affects glucose metabolism and is linked to insulin resistance. ZAG has a zinc binding site in its structure, which may indicate that ZAG mediates the effect of zinc on lipid metabolism. The review aimed to verify the available studies on the effects of zinc and ZAG on lipid metabolism. A literature review within the scope of this research area was conducted using articles available in PubMed (including MEDLINE), Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases. An analysis of available studies has shown that zinc improves hepatic lipid metabolism and has an impact on the lipid profile. Numerous studies have found that zinc supplementation in overweight individuals significantly reduced blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL (Low-density lipoprotein)cholesterol and triglycerides, potentially reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Some results also indicate that it increases HDL-C (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. ZAG has been shown to play a significant role in reducing obesity and improving insulin sensitivity, both in experimental animal model studies and in human studies. Furthermore, ZAG at physiologically relevant concentrations increases the release of adiponectin from human adipocytes. In addition, ZAG has been shown to inhibit in vitro leptin production. Further studies are needed to provide more data on the role of zinc and zinc-α2-glycoprotein.
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