The importance of dietary protein in the zinc deficiency of uremia
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The pathogenesis of zinc deficiency and its relationship to hypogeusia were studied in three chronic dialysis units in Toronto. The difference between low plasma zinc levels at two of the hospitals compared to the normal levels in the third hospital was significantly related to levels of dietary zinc intake which in turn was due to the levels of dietary protein intake. Thus one cause of zinc deficiency in chronic uremia is dietary protein deprivation. In addition, in the hospital with normal plasma levels there was a small but significant rise in plasma zinc postdialysis in contrast to the other two hospitals where there was no change. Thus slight leaching of zinc from dialysis equipment could help prevent zinc deficiency in such patients. Hypogeusia was more common in zinc-deficient patients.
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