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April 1976

Zinc Deficiency in Man

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Allen Park, MI 48101

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(4):359-361. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120050017002

In 1869, Raulin1 first showed that zinc was essential for the growth of Aspergillus niger. In 1926, its essentiality for higher forms of plant life was established.2 Todd and coworkers3 (1934) showed that zinc was necessary for the growth and well being of the rat. In 1955, Tucker and Salmon4 reported that Zinc cures and prevents parakeratosis in swine. The salient features of zinc deficiency in rats include anorexia, growth retardation, coarse and sparse hair, lymphopenia, testicular atrophy, hyperkeratosis, and acanthosis and parakeratosis of the skin, esophagus, and forestomach. In 1958, O'Dell et al5 showed that zinc was required for growth and various other functions in birds. Zinc deficiency has been noted to occur in mice,6 and deficiency of zinc has been produced experimentally in calves,7 lambs,8 dogs,9 and young Japanese quails.10

Zinc deficiency in man, however, was once believed