Zinc and somato-sexual development of adolescents

S.I. Turchina


Background. The study investigated the age changes of zinc (Zn) in pubertal boys and its changes in delayed growth and sexual development. The aim of the study was
to expand existing concepts about the influence of Zn deficiency disorders on the physical and sexual development in adolescents. Materials and methods. In 70 adolescent boys aged 10–17 years Zn level was evaluated, taking into account somato-sexual development and the presence of diffuse nontoxic goiter (DNG). Teens were divided into groups: 1) 20 boys aged 10–17 years with normal volume of the thyroid gland, normal physical and sexual development; 2) 17 adolescents aged 14–17 years with normal sexual development and DNG; 3) 15 adolescents aged 14–17 years with sexual deve­lopment delay (SDD) and normal thyroid volume; 4) 18 adolescents aged 14–17 years with SDD and DNG. Results. The highest values of Zn were determined during the physiological puberty by itself within its physiologic course ((16.52; 14.27–18.66) mmol/l), which is significantly more than in the pre- ((13.53; 12.77–16.41) mmol/l; p < 0.05) and late puberty ((12.59; 10.22–16.07) mmol/l; p < 0.05). The adolescents with SDD ((14.41; 12.67–15.83) mmol/l) and short stature ((12.53; 8.80–15.46) mmol/l) had decreased Zn level, especially in the case of DNG ((10.03; 8.51–13.76) mmol/l). Regression and factor analysis studied the nature of the relationship between anthropometric indices, the degree of development of se­condary sexual characteristics and Zn, functional state of the thyroid and reproductive systems. Conclusions. During puberty period Zn rates varies achieving its maximum level during the puberty by itself. Delayed growth and sexual development are associated with reduced Zn concentration in blood. The lowest Zn value is typical for the adolescents with DNG and SDD. There was grounded the necessity of Zincite drug application as a monotherapy or included into the complex treatment for the secondary prevention and treatment of Zn deficiency.


zinc; physical and sexual development; adolescents


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22141/2224-0721.13.2.2017.100601


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