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Human biomarkers of population zinc intake and status

There are currently three recommended strategies by the Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) review group (7):

  1. Plasma zinc status
  2. Prevalence of stunting
  3. Assessment of dietary zinc intake

Precise information from biochemical assessment of zinc status is currently limited. The World Health Organization (WHO) Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information Service (VMNIS) Micronutrients Database report that only 17 countries have assessed zinc status using serum or plasma zinc as part of their national survey. Most estimations of risk of zinc deficiency are linked to dietary intake or to prevalence of stunting (16).

OpeN-Global, at present, covers only laboratory methods of biomarker assessment.

Currently, plasma (or serum) zinc is the recommended biomarker by IZiNCG, WHO, UNICEF, and IAEA (17), and by a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 46 publications (18). Plasma/serum zinc assay methods are given below.

We provide OpeN-Global visitors seeking advice on assessment of stunting prevalence and/or dietary zinc intake, with signposting to relevant references and resources.