The effects of ferrous sulfate and aluminum hydroxide on the oral zinc tolerance test after administration of 25 mg of elemental zinc as sulfate were studied in six hemodialysis patients and six normal controls. Fasting plasma zinc levels, the 2-hour plasma zinc peak, and the area under the plasma zinc curve were significantly lower in patients compared with values in controls (plasma zinc, 92 ± 4 compared with 108 ± 3 µg/dL, p < 0.025; 2-hour plasma zinc peak, 159 ± 8 compared with 228 ± 17 µg/dL, p < 0.025; and area under the curve, 193 ± 41 compared with 316 ± 39 µg h/dL, p < 0.025). Ferrous sulfate (300 mg orally), when administered along with zinc sulfate, decreased the area under the curve significantly (in patients by 28%, in controls by 40%) in comparison with the results obtained when zinc sulfate was given alone. When 30 mL of aluminum hydroxide was administered orally with zinc sulfate, the area under the curve decreased by 60% in controls and 75% in patients (p < 0.005). These results confirm the presence of diminished zinc absorption in patients with renal failure and show that ferrous sulfate and aluminum hydroxide, which worsen this defect, also impair zinc absorption in normal subjects.