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Zinc supplementation benefits hemodialysis patients

Reprinted with the kind permission of LIfe Extension [1].

February 21 2018. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported in BioMed Research International [2] concluded that patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis could benefit from zinc supplementation.

Researchers from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China selected 15 randomized controlled trials for their analysis, which included a total of 645 participants receiving maintenance dialysis for chronic kidney disease. Among the 345 men and women who received supplemental zinc, doses ranged from 11 milligrams (mg) to 100 mg consumed daily for 40 to 360 days.

Not surprisingly, supplementing with zinc was associated with higher serum zinc levels in comparison with the control subjects’ levels. Zinc levels varied by ethnicity and longer treatment periods were associated with higher levels. Participants who received zinc had greater dietary protein intake, increased levels of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), and lower levels of malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of oxidative stress) and C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation) compared to those who did not receive the mineral.

All studies included in the analysis determined that zinc supplementation was associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and pooled results revealed statistical significance for these associations in all subgroups. Authors Ling-Jun Wang and colleagues remark that zinc could decrease CRP and other inflammatory cytokines via increased antioxidant power and most likely targets the nuclear factor-kappa beta pathway.

“Our meta-analysis suggests that zinc supplementation benefits the nutritional status of maintenance hemodialysis patients and shows a time effect relationship,” the authors conclude. “It also leads to an anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effect in maintenance hemodialysis patients.”

—D Dye