Effect of zinc supplementation on inflammatory markers and adipokines in young obese women

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Feb;157(2):101-6. doi: 10.1007/s12011-013-9885-3. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Obesity is a chronic inflammatory state characterized by altered adipokine production and increased levels of inflammatory cytokines. The study explored the effect of zinc supplementation on inflammatory markers and adipocyte hormones in young obese women. Twenty five non-obese women and forty obese women (body mass index ≥25 kg/m(2)) aged 19-28 years were recruited for this study. Twenty obese women of the study group took 30 mg/day of supplemental zinc as zinc gluconate for 8 weeks and 20 obese women of control group took placebo. Usual dietary zinc intake was estimated from 3-day diet records. Serum zinc and urinary zinc concentration were measured by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. Inflammatory markers such as high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin (IL)-6 and adipocyte hormones such as lepin and adiponectin were measured by enzyme immunoassay. Inflammatory markers and leptin were significantly higher, but adiponectin was significantly lower in obese women than non-obese women. Zinc supplementation increased serum zinc by 15% and urinary zinc by 56% (P < 0.05). The levels of hs-CRP (P = 0.03) and IL-6 (P = 0.006) significantly decreased with zinc supplementation, but not in placebo group. Serum leptin and plasma adiponectin concentration did not differ with either zinc supplementation or placebo. The levels of IL-6 and leptin were inversely associated with dietary zinc intake. These results suggest that zinc may have a favorable effect on obesity-related inflammation in young adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood*
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / immunology
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Young Adult
  • Zinc / administration & dosage
  • Zinc / blood
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc / urine


  • Adipokines
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leptin
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Zinc