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Treatment of zinc deficiency without zinc fortification

Donald OBERLEAS1,Barbara F.HARLAND2(1Department of Nutrition and Food Science,Texas Technique University Emeritus,Lubbock,Texas 79423,USA)(2Department of Nutrition,Howard University,Washington,DC 20059,USA)  
Zinc(Zn) deficiency in animals became of interest until the 1950s.In this paper,progresses in researches on physiology of Zn deficiency in animals,phytate effect on bioavailability of Zn,and role of phytase in healing Zn deficiency of animals were reviewed.Several studies demonstrated that Zn is recycled via the pancreas;the problem of Zn deficiency was controlled by Zn homeostasis.The endogenous secretion of Zn is considered as an important factor influencing Zn deficiency,and the critical molar ratio is 10.Phytate(inositol hexaphosphate) constituted up to 90% of the organically bound phosphorus in seeds.Great improvement has been made in recent years on isolating and measuring phytate,and its structure is clear.Phytate is considered to reduce Zn bioavailability in animal.Phytase is the enzyme that hydrolyzes phytate and is present in yeast,rye bran,wheat bran,barley,triticale,and many bacteria and fungi.Zinc nutrition and bioavailability can be enhanced by addition of phytase to animal feeds.Therefore,using phytase as supplements,the most prevalent Zn deficiency in animals may be effectively corrected without the mining and smelting of several tons of zinc daily needed to correct this deficiency by fortification worldwide.
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