|Category||Biochemistry Biochemistry >> Trace elements|
Zinc is an essential trace element, stored mainly in muscle. Approximately 80 % of circulating zinc is present in the red cells. Zinc is a component of many enzymes, required for transcription factors, antioxidant function, immune system, respiration and neurological function, and is crucial for normal growth and maturation.
Suspected deficiency: symptoms include mouth ulcers, a characteristic rash, alopecia, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, with depression and lethargy; classically seen in a high phytate diet.
There is increased risk of zinc deficiency in elderly, alcoholic, critically ill patients, burns, excessive/prolonged gastrointestinal losses and high phytate diets.
Rare inborn errors e.g. acrodermatitis entropathica
Monitoring of nutritional requirements for patients receiving parenteral nutrition or after bariatric surgery
|Sample & container required||Serum: Trace element free (royal blue top). Standard blood tubes are often contaminated with zinc and are not acceptable.Urine: Sterile universal 24 hour collection|
|Sample volume||0.5 mL|
|Transport storage||Stable at 2-8oC. Sample can be sent by first class post.|
|Turnaround time||1 week|
Grossly haemolysed samples are unsuitable for this assay.