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Zinc-Induced Copper Deficiency: Megamineral Sideroblastic Anemia

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Michael C. Perry, M.D.; MA406D, Department of Medicine, University of Missouri Health Sciences Center; Columbia, MO 65212.

University of Missouri; Columbia, Missouri

Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(3):385-386. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-3-385
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The essential trace element zinc is necessary for growth and is involved in several physiologic functions. Zinc deficiency has been implicated in poor wound healing, immunologic impairment, hypogonadism, and growth failure (1). Because of these observations, food fadists and uninformed health-care providers have encouraged high daily doses of oral zinc to prevent or treat various illnesses. We report the case of a patient taking more than 30 times the usual daily mixed diet content of 10 to 15 mg of zinc for over 2 years as a treatment for "prostate trouble." Large quantities of ingested zinc may interfere with copper


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