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Zinc (Zn), Intracellular

Includes 1 test
10 Days

The measurement of intracellular zinc, performed by measuring the concentration of zinc within the red blood cells, is used to estimate the actual levels of the metal within the cells.

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Zinc (Zn) is a crucial chemical element and is found to be incorporated into many metalloproteins in the human body. Zinc is essential in nucleic acid metabolism, cell reproduction, tissue repair, and growth.

Zinc deficiency is associated with several pathological conditions, such as impaired immune system function and weakened immunity, delayed growth, brain development disorders, and wound healing. In addition, many reports indicate that zinc is involved in various mechanisms in the development of cancer and that it can directly affect cancer cells by regulating the profiles of their gene expression and cell viability. On the other hand, zinc can also indirectly affect cancer cells by affecting processes in their microenvironment, such as regulating immune responses.

Zinc deficiency can be due to a lack of proper dietary intake or an excess of other metals, such as copper or iron, which impede the body's ability to absorb zinc properly. Conditions that can contribute to zinc deficiency include Crohn's disease and other diseases that interfere with metal absorption, a diet low in meat and seafood, chronic stress, anemia, alcoholism, and pregnancy. Symptoms of zinc deficiency may include recurrent infections, slow-healing wounds, diarrhea, hair loss, recurrent skin rashes or acne, and a diminished sense of taste or smell.

Dietary zinc toxicity is highly unusual. Toxicity is usually caused by taking dietary supplements without the necessary testing, industrial exposure, or exposure to zinc-containing household products such as paints, varnishes, and cleaning products. Zinc toxicity can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, anemia, and decreased levels of "good” cholesterol.

Measurement of intracellular zinc can detect metal deficiency earlier and more accurately than the standard serum zinc testing.

Measurement of Intracellular Trace Elements

Measuring intracellular metals and trace elements within red blood cells (RBCs) is an excellent method for assessing the deficiency or excess of elements with important functions within cells or cell membranes. It is also used to assess the status of vital elements with essential intracellular functions, such as potassium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc.

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