Transport of electrolytes, water, and glucose in zinc deficiency

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60 Scopus citations


Zinc deficiency in humans and animals results in failure to thrive, skin lesions, loss of hair, and diarrhea. The mechanism underlying the diarrhea seen in zinc deficiency is not known. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate net transport of water, electrolytes, and glucose from segments of small and large intestine in zinc-deficient, pair-fed control, and ad libitum-fed rats. An in vivo single-pass perfusion study was used. The results indicate that net water and sodium transport from the small and large intestine of zinc-deficient rats was significantly decreased compared to corresponding mean values for pair-fed controls and for ad libitum-fed rats. Net absorption of glucose and net secretion of potassium were not significantly different in the three groups. The results are in agreement with previous investigations showing decreased sodium transport in leukocytes and renal tubules of zinc-deficient animals and suggest that zinc may have a role in modulating membrane permeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-612
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1984


  • Intestinal transport
  • Sodium
  • Zinc deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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