Other Causes of Zinc Deficiency

There are a few other commonly occurring conditions in developing country settings that may contribute to zinc deficiency. Diarrhea may not only lead to a reduced absorption of dietary zinc during the episode due to increased intestinal transit time, but may also cause an increase in the loss of body zinc. Under normal physiological conditions, zinc is secreted into the intestine in large quantities together with digestive juices but is largely reabsorbed again; diarrhea may interfere with the reabsorption of this zinc. Given the important role of the intestine in regulating dietary zinc absorption, and the secretion and reabsorption of body zinc during digestion, conditions that affect the health or integrity of the intestine, such as tropical enteropathy, could interfere with the adequate maintenance of zinc balance. The contribution of these conditions to zinc deficiency in developing countries requires investigation.

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