Effect of oral zinc supplements on growth, hormonal levels, and zinc in healthy short children

Ann Nutr Metab. 1983;27(3):214-9. doi: 10.1159/000176660.


13 short children aged 7-13 years who had a retarded bone age and low hair zinc concentration (under 140 micrograms/g) were treated with oral zinc supplements for a year. There was a significant increase in the growth rate in the children whose hair zinc concentration increased. Growth hormone, testosterone and somatomedin C also increased after oral zinc supplementation. Data from 755 short healthy children who have attended our Growth Clinic are presented which describe their hair and serum zinc concentration at different ages. The data indicate a decline in hair zinc concentration after birth with a gradual increase at age 4-6 years, finally reaching adult normal levels after adolescence.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Body Height / drug effects*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / blood*
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Growth Disorders / etiology
  • Hair / analysis
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Male
  • Somatomedins / blood*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Zinc / administration & dosage
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Somatomedins
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Zinc