Study Title:

Zinc Helps Prevent Bone Loss, Assists Bone Building

Study Abstract

The nutritional influence of zinc on markers of bone extracellular matrix resorption and mineralization was investigated in growing rats. Thirty male weanling rats were randomly assigned to consume AIN-93G based diets containing 2.5, 5, 7.5, 15 or 30 mug Zn/g diet for 24 days. Femur zinc increased substantially as zinc increased from 5 to 15 mug/g diet and modestly between 15 and 30 mug/g (P<.05). By morphological assessment, trabecular bone increased steadily as dietary zinc increased to 30 mug/g. Increasing dietary zinc tended to decrease Zip2 expression nonsignificantly and elevated the relative expression of metallothionen-I at 15 but not 30 mug Zn/g diet. Femur osteoclastic resorption potential, indicated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) and carbonic anhydrase-2 activities decreased with increasing dietary zinc. In contrast to indicators of extracellular matrix resorption, femur tartrate-resistant acid and alkaline phosphatase activities increased fourfold as dietary zinc increased from 2.5 to 30 mug Zn/g. Likewise, 15 or 30 mug Zn/g diet resulted in maximum relative expression of osteocalcin, without influencing expression of core-binding factor alpha-1, collagen Type 1 alpha-1, or nuclear factor of activated T cells c1. In conclusion, increased trabecular bone with additional zinc suggests that previous requirement estimates of 15 mug Zn/g diet may not meet nutritional needs for optimal bone development. Overall, the up-regulation of extracellular matrix modeling indexes and concomitant decrease in resorption activities as dietary zinc increased from 2.5 to 30 mug/g provide evidence of one or more physiological roles for zinc in modulating the balance between bone formation and resorption.

Study Information

Hadley KB, Newman SM, Hunt JR.
Dietary zinc reduces osteoclast resorption activities and increases markers of osteoblast differentiation, matrix maturation, and mineralization in the long bones of growing rats.
Nutr Biochem.
2009 April
US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-9034, USA.

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