Daily Variation in Plasma Zinc Concentrations in Women Fed Meals at Six-Hour Intervals

Ten pre-menopausal women participated in two studies to measure the daily variations in plasma zinc when meals were fed at 6-h intervals and to determine if the response was related to shifts in serum insulin, glucose, calcium, or phosphorus concentrations. In Study 1, identical meals were fed at 6-h intervals for 2 d, and blood was sampled 8 times between each meal. In Study 2, the women fasted from 1800 h on d 1 to noon the next day, and blood was sampled hourly from 0700–1200 on d 2. The postprandial plasma zinc response was similar following all four meals and accounted for 50% of the total within subject variation in plasma zinc. A small (2–6%) increase occurred within the first 60 min; then plasma zinc declined to a low point at 4 h after the meal. This characteristic pattern was not observed during the fasting study. Serum phosphorus varied consistently after each meal with a net efflux from circulation that preceded an efflux of zinc by 2 h. The postprandial response of serum glucose and insulin were related to the postprandial plasma zinc response measured 6 h earlier; the variables were not correlated at concurrent time points. The data show that food intake is a determinant of the daily variations in plasma zinc. The net efflux of zinc from circulation following meals may reflect hepatic zinc uptake in association with an increase in postprandial liver metabolism.
Zinc, Phosphorus, Humans, Diurnal variation, Postprandial response