Zinc deficiency is common in Japan, yet awareness on this disorder is lacking. The Japanese Society of Clinical Nutrition recently issued the Japan's Practical Guideline for Zinc Deficiency 2018 setting forth criteria for diagnosing zinc deficiency, i.e., (a) one or more symptoms of zinc deficiency or low serum alkaline phosphatase, (b) ruling out other diseases, (c) low serum zinc, and (d) alleviation of symptoms upon zinc administration. Serum zinc <60 μg/dL and 60-80 μg/dL indicate zinc deficiency and marginal deficiency, respectively. Zinc deficiency symptoms vary and include dermatitis and taste disorders among others. Zinc administration improves taste in 50-82% of patients suffering from taste disorders (a common symptom of zinc deficiency). Effects of zinc administration do not appear immediately, and therapy should be continued for at least three months. Zinc deficiency often accompanies various diseases and conditions. Here, we focus on inflammatory bowel diseases and liver cirrhosis. As zinc deficiency enhances intestinal inflammation via macrophage activation, we discuss the pathological mechanism for inflammation and zinc deficiency in the context of IBD. Zinc deficiency can also lead to a nitrogen metabolic disorder in patients with liver cirrhosis. Zinc supplementation can improve not only the ammonia metabolism, but also the protein metabolism. We also discuss directions for future studies of zinc deficiency.
PMID: 32331308 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]