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Sept 21, 1984

Excessive Intake of Zinc Impairs Immune Responses

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's.

JAMA. 1984;252(11):1443-1446. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350110043027

The effect of administration of large amounts of zinc on immune response and serum lipoproteins was examined. Eleven healthy adult men ingested 150 mg of elemental zinc twice a day for six weeks. This was associated with a reduction in lymphocyte stimulation response to phytohemagglutinin as well as chemotaxis and phagocytosis of bacteria by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Serum high-density lipoprotein concentration decreased significantly and low-density lipoprotein level increased slightly. The common food fad of zinc supplementation with resultant excessive intake could have deleterious effects in healthy persons.

(JAMA 1984;252:1443-1446)