Parenteral supplementation with zinc in surgical patients corrects postoperative serum-zinc drop

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1991 Jul;30(1):37-45. doi: 10.1007/BF02990340.


Zinc has been known for a long time to facilitate wound healing. But, so far, supplementation trials in patients treated by major severity surgery gave either partial or controversial results. In a double-blind, randomized study including 30 patients, we show that zinc supplements (30 mg/d for 3 d) administered by a drip correct postoperative drop of serum zinc, that this correction concerns the available part of serum zinc (i.e., zinc that is bound to compounds other than alpha-2 macroglobulin in serum), and that this supplementation can improve clinical wound healing. Possible influence of increased urinary output after the intervention is discussed, and we found that serum cortisol remains stable when zinc/albumin ratio is stable, and increases sharply when the same ratio drops. Cortisol, therefore, seems to play a major role in zinc redistribution after surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aorta, Abdominal / surgery
  • Arteriosclerosis / surgery
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Granulocytes / drug effects
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Nutritional Status
  • Postoperative Period
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc / pharmacology*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use


  • Hormones
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc