Zinc and growth

J Am Coll Nutr. 1996 Aug;15(4):340-4. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1996.10718608.


Zinc is an essential nutrients and plays an important role in growth and sexual function. Zinc deficiency has been known to cause growth retardation and hypogonadism. Several mechanisms of growth retardation and hypogonadism due to zinc deficiency have been suggested. Zinc affects growth hormone (GH) metabolism. Conversely, GH affects zinc metabolism. Zinc deficiency may result in reduced GH production and/or insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). Zinc deficiency may also affect bone metabolism and gonadal function. The interrelationships among zinc, growth, gonadal function, and GH-IGF-I axis appears to be complex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Growth Disorders / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / etiology*
  • Hypogonadism / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Sheep
  • Zinc / adverse effects
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / physiology*


  • Zinc