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Useful links and references

Useful links

IZiNCG: The International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG) is an international group whose primary objectives are to promote and assist efforts to reduce global zinc deficiency, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable populations of low-income countries. IZiNCG provides technical assistance to researchers, public health professionals, national governments, and other agencies in LMICs who are interested in assessing zinc status and implementing zinc interventions. This includes freely-available online technical documents and briefs, and an email response team for questions related to zinc in public health. IZiNCG also works to connect individual researchers or public health workers with local or regional institutions with expertise in the field of zinc. The IZiNCG website provides a comprehensive resource for population zinc assessment, including background information on zinc, design and implementation of zinc assessment studies and interpreting population date. Access the IZiNCG website here.

IZiNCG contact for technical advice and queries: The IZiNCG secretariat are available to answer any questions about any aspect of population zinc assessment, including laboratory analyses. Find out how IZiNCG can help you, or use this link to go directly to their Contact form

All briefs are also available in French, Spanish and Portuguese via this page.

Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development:The Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) project is designed to provide evidence-based advice to anyone with an interest in the role of nutrition in health. For a comprehensive review of zinc biology and biomarkers, including a background of zinc within public health, an overview of available biomarkers and considerations for their use including interpretation of zinc biomarkers across a range of clinical and population-based applications, OpeN-Global users are directed to the BOND review for zinc, available as an open-access resource via the link above.

UNICEF data:UNICEF data can be used to access historical data complementary to population zinc intakes such as stunting prevalence and diarrhoeal disease.

WHO e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA) has several useful resources on zinc:

Further reading

The 2013 Lancet series on Maternal and Child Nutrition gives estimates of the proportion of child deaths due to zinc deficiency and some useful general information on zinc.

Wessells KR, Brown KH 2012 Estimating the global prevalence of zinc deficiency: results based on zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting. PLoS One7:e50568.

History of zinc in public health

Gibson RS 2012 A historical review of progress in the assessment of dietary zinc intake as an indicator of population zinc status. Adv Nutr 3:772-782.

Prasad AS 2013 Discovery of human zinc deficiency: its impact on human health and disease. Adv Nutr 4:176-190.

Sandstead HH 2012 Zinc nutrition from discovery to global health impact. Adv Nutr 3:718-719.

Sandstead HH 2013 Human zinc deficiency: discovery to initial translation. Adv Nutr 4:76-81.


Hess SY, King JC 2009 Effects of Maternal Zinc Supplementation on Pregnancy and Lactation Outcomes. Food Nutr Bull 30:S60-S78.

Imdad A, Bhutta ZA 2011 Effect of preventive zinc supplementation on linear growth in children under 5 years of age in developing countries: a meta-analysis of studies for input to the lives saved tool. BMC Public Health 11:S22.

King JC 2010 Does zinc absorption reflect zinc status? Int J Vitam Nutr Res 80:300-306.

Liu E, Pimpin L, Shulkin M, Kranz S, Duggan CP, Mozaffarian D, Fawzi WW 2018 Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Growth Outcomes in Children under 5 Years of Age. Nutrients 10.

Mayo‐Wilson E, Junior JA, Imdad A, Dean S, Chan XHS, Chan ES, Jaswal A, Bhutta ZA 2014 Zinc supplementation for preventing mortality, morbidity, and growth failure in children aged 6 months to 12 years of age. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.


de Bentoist B, Darnton-Hill I, Davidsson L, Fontaine O, eds. Executive Summary — Recommendations for Indicators of Population Zinc Status Food Nutr Bull 2007;28:S399-S400.

Fischer Walker CL, Black RE. Functional indicators for assessing zinc deficiency Food Nutr Bull 2007;28:S454-S479.

Hess SY, Brown KH 2009 Impact of Zinc Fortification on Zinc Nutrition. Food Nutr Bull 30:S79-S107.

Hess SY, Peerson JM, King JC, Brown KH 2007 Use of serum zinc concentration as an indicator of population zinc status. Food Nutr Bull 28:S403-429.

Killilea DW, Rohner F, Ghosh S, et al. Identification of a Hemolysis Threshold That Increases Plasma and Serum Zinc Concentration. J Nutr. 2017;147(6):1218-1225.

Nicola M Lowe, Katalin Fekete, Tamás Decsi; Methods of assessment of zinc status in humans: a systematic review, Am J Clin Nutr, Volume 89, Issue 6, 1 June 2009, Pages 2040S–2051S


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  2. Maret W 2013 Zinc biochemistry: from a single zinc enzyme to a key element of life. Adv Nutr 4:82-91.
  3. King JC 2011 Zinc: an essential but elusive nutrient. Am J Clin Nutr 94:679S-684S.
  4. de Onis M, Branca F 2016 Childhood stunting: a global perspective. Matern Child Nutr 12 Suppl 1:12-26.
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  6. Prasad AS 2008 Zinc in human health: effect of zinc on immune cells. Mol Med 14:353-357.
  7. King JC, Brown KH, Gibson RS, Krebs NF, Lowe NM, Siekmann JH, Raiten DJ 2016 Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND)—Zinc Review. The Journal of nutrition 146:858S-885S.
  8. King JC, Shames DM, Woodhouse LR 2000 Zinc homeostasis in humans. The Journal of nutrition 130:1360s-1366s.
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  11. Willis MS, Monaghan SA, Miller ML, McKenna RW, Perkins WD, Levinson BS, Bhushan V, Kroft SH 2005 Zinc-Induced Copper Deficiency. American Journal of Clinical Pathology 123:125-131.
  12. Bertinato J, Simpson JR, Sherrard L, Taylor J, Plouffe LJ, Van Dyke D, Geleynse M, Dam YY, Murphy P, Knee C, Vresk L, Holland N, Quach H, Mack DR, Cooper M, L’Abbe M R, Hayward S 2013 Zinc supplementation does not alter sensitive biomarkers of copper status in healthy boys. The Journal of nutrition 143:284-289.
  13. Bost M, Houdart S, Oberli M, Kalonji E, Huneau JF, Margaritis I 2016 Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues. J Trace Elem Med Biol 35:107-115.
  14. Greenberg SA, Briemberg HR 2004 A neurological and hematological syndrome associated with zinc excess and copper deficiency. Journal of Neurology 251:111-114.
  15. Hedera P, Fink JK, Bockenstedt PL, Brewer GJ 2003 Myelopolyneuropathy and pancytopenia due to copper deficiency and high zinc levels of unknown origin: Further support for existence of a new zinc overload syndrome. Archives of Neurology 60:1303-1306.
  16. Wessells KR, Brown KH 2012 Estimating the global prevalence of zinc deficiency: results based on zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting. PLoS One7:e50568.
  17. de Benoist B, Darnton-Hill I, Davidsson L, Fontaine O, Hotz C 2007 Conclusions of the Joint WHO/UNICEF/IAEA/IZiNCG Interagency Meeting on Zinc Status Indicators. Food Nutr Bull 28:S480-484.
  18. Lowe NM, Fekete K, Decsi T 2009 Methods of assessment of zinc status in humans: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr 89:2040S-2051S.
  19. Diana A, Haszard JJ, Purnamasari DM, Nurulazmi I, Luftimas DE, Rahmania S, Nugraha GI, Erhardt J, Gibson RS, Houghton L 2017 Iron, zinc, vitamin A and selenium status in a cohort of Indonesian infants after adjusting for inflammation using several different approaches. Br J Nutr 118:830-839.
  20. Hess SY, Brown KH 2009 Impact of Zinc Fortification on Zinc Nutrition. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 30:S79-S107.
  21. Hess SY, Peerson JM, King JC, Brown KH 2007 Use of serum zinc concentration as an indicator of population zinc status. Food Nutr Bull 28:S403-429.