Background: The aim of this study was to compare serum levels of trace elements in morbidly obese female patients seeking bariatric surgery with those of age-matched females with body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 30.
Methods: Blood samples were collected from 66 morbidly obese female patients seeking bariatric surgery prior to undergoing surgery. Blood was collected also from 44 female patients (with BMI less than or equal to 30) prospectively from April 2009 till February 2010. Exclusion criteria in both groups were the presence of any co-morbidities on medication, patients receiving any vitamin supplement or any herbal product intake, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Serum zinc, magnesium, copper, and selenium were measured and compared between the two groups.
Results: The mean age and BMI for morbidly obese female patients was 28.5 years (21.5-35.5) and 45.26 kg/m(2) (40.3-50.22). The control group had a mean age and BMI of 30.75 years (21.35-40.15) and 25.88 kg/m(2) (22.73-29.03). For morbidly obese patients, the serum level of copper, zinc, selenium, and magnesium was 1,623.84, 698.34, 86.08, and 17,830 μg/l, respectively, compared to 1,633.36, 734.82, 101.14, and 18,260 μg/l for the control group. The serum levels of the trace elements were not statistically significantly different between the two groups except for selenium, which was significantly reduced among morbidly obese female patients (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Serum selenium level is significantly reduced among morbidly obese female patients seeking bariatric surgery.