The aim of this study was to evaluate the lipid peroxidation, nitric oxide (NO), and free radical scavenging enzyme activities in erythrocytes of zinc (Zn)-deficient rats and to investigate the relationship among these parameters in either group. Sixteen male rats with a weight of 40-50 g were used for the experiment. The rats were divided into control (n = 8) and Zn-deficient groups. At the end of the experiment, the animals were anesthetized with ketamine-HCl (Ketalar, 20 mg/kg(-1), i.p.), and the blood was collected by cardiac puncture after thoracotomy. Blood samples were collected in vacutainer tubes without and with K(3)-EDTA as anticoagulant. Erythrocyte catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (GRD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, total (enzymatic plus nonenzymatic) superoxide scavenger activity (TSSA), nonenzymatic superoxide scavenger activity (NSSA), antioxidant potential (AOP), and serum zinc (Zn) values in the Zn-deficient group were significantly lower than those of the control group, whereas NO and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly higher than those of the control group. The results show that Zn deficiency causes a decrease in antioxidant defense system and an increase in oxidative stress in erythrocyte of rats.