Bone zinc is poorly released in young, growing rats fed marginally zinc- restricted diet

J. R. Zhou, M. M. Canar, J. W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of marginal zinc restriction on bone zinc release was studied. Male weanling rats were fed zinc-adequate diet (12 mg zinc/kg diet) for 1 wk, intubated with 65Zn, refed the zinc-adequate diet for an additional week, and divided into one baseline group and five marginally zinc-restricted groups (6 mg/kg) and five corresponding zinc-adequate pair-fed groups. Significantly lower (P < 0.05) 65Zn radioactivity (10-20%) in the first week was observed in femurs of rats fed the marginally zinc-restricted diet without further change in the following weeks. Pair-fed rats showed higher 65Zn radioactivity in femurs in the second week, and the level was maintained. Similar results were found in tibia 65Zn radioactivity. Muscle zinc concentration was higher in the first week (P < 0.05) but subsequently returned to baseline levels in the second week through the fifth week. The results support the existence of two zinc pools in the skeleton, one a small, rapidly turning-over pool (10-20% in size), and the other a slowly turning- over pool. When rats suffer marginal zinc restriction, zinc from the readily turning-over bone pool is utilized for soft tissue needs, followed by decreased growth rate to maintain zinc homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1388
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • bone
  • muscle
  • rats
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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