Background: The study was conducted to ascertain the influence of oral contraceptive pill (OCP) uptake on serum zinc and selenium in contraceptive pill users.
Study design: The concentration of zinc and selenium was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer in 50 healthy women with normal menstrual cycles as a control group and 50 women taking low-dose OCP.
Results: The control reference values were 81.61+/-9.44 and 70.35+/-25.57 mcg/dL, which were obtained for zinc and selenium, respectively. Use of OCP resulted in a significant decrease in serum zinc levels (p</=.009, t=-3.666) and alteration of selenium levels but not significantly (p=.08, t=0.935). The duration of use beyond 3 months had no effect on the magnitude of the decrease in serum zinc levels.
Conclusions: These findings may be important because selenium is currently believed to offer protective benefits against carcinogenesis. It has been thought that the decrease in serum zinc could be reflected in a reduction of tissue zinc status due to changes in zinc absorption, excretion or tissue turnover. If these changes occur, the dietary zinc requirement would be greater in women using OCP.