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Zinc and Fractures (Research)

Peer-Reviewed Professional Journals

·    Igarashi, A., et al.  Increase in bone protein components with healing rat fractures:  enhancement by zinc treatment.  Int J Mol Med.  4(6):615-620, 1999.

Laboratory of Endocrinology and Molecular Metabolism, Graduate School of Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan.

The alteration in bone components in the femoral-diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing was investigated.  Rats were sacrificed 7 and 14 days after the femoral fracture.  Protein content in the femoral-diaphyseal tissues was markedly elevated by fracture healing.  Analysis with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that many protein molecules were induced in the diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing.  Moreover, when the femoral-diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing were cultured for 24 and 48 h in a serum-free medium, many proteins in the bone tissues were released into the medium.  Also, the culture of the diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing caused a significant increase in bone alkaline phosphatase activity and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content.  Meanwhile, the presence of zinc acexamate (10-5 and 10-4 M), a stimulator of bone formation, in a culture medium induced a significant elevation of protein content and alkaline phosphatase activity in the diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing.  Such an effect was completely abolished by the presence of cycloheximide (10-6 M), an inhibitor of protein synthesis.  The present study suggests that fracture healing induces a newly synthesized bone protein component including stimulatory factor(s) for bone formation.  Zinc supplementation may stimulate the healing of femoral fracture.

·    Igarashi, A., et al.  Great increase in bone 66 kDa protein and osteocalcin at later stages with healing rat fractures:  Effect of zinc treatment.  Int J Mol Med.  11(2):223-228, 2003.

Laboratory of Endocrinology and Molecular Metabolism, Graduate School of Nutritional Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan.

Fracture healing has been demonstrated to increase production of bone growth factors, and this elevation has been shown to be enhanced by zinc treatment.  Moreover, the effect of zinc treatment on production of bone osteocalcin, which is a kind of Ca2+-binding protein localized in bone matrix, at the later stages with bone fracture was investigated.  Rats were sacrificed 7 (earlier stage) or 21 (later stage) days after fracture of femoral diaphysis.  Femoral-diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing were cultured in a serum-free medium for 24 h.  Many proteins in the bone tissues were released into the medium.  Bone protein production was markedly elevated 21 days after bone fracture as compared with that of 7 days.  An approximately 66 kDa protein molecule, a major protein component which was produced by the diaphyseal tissues during fracture healing, was predominantly increased at the later stages with fracture healing.  Bone osteocalcin production was significantly increased during fracture healing.  This increase was enhanced at the later stages with fracture healing.  The presence of zinc acexamate (10(-4) M) in culture medium caused a significant increase in bone protein and osteocalcin production at 7 or 21 days after bone fracture.  The effect of zinc acexamate in increasing bone total protein and osteocalcin production was remarkable at the later stages with fracture healing.  Zinc treatment caused a significant increase in alkaline phosphatase activity, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and calcium content in the femoral-diaphyseal tissues of the later stages with fracture healing in vitro.  The present study demonstrates that bone protein production is markedly increased at the later stages with fracture healing, and that zinc treatment can enhance production of bone protein components including osteocalcin in vitro.  Zinc treatment may stimulate the healing of femoral fracture at earlier and later stages.

·    Sadighi, A., et al.  The effects of zinc supplementation on serum zinc, alkaline phosphatase activity and fracture healing of bones.  Saudi Med J.  29(9):1276-1279, 2008.

Department of Orthopedics, Shohada Hospital Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of zinc supplementation on callus formation, serum zinc and alkaline phosphatase activity in humans.  This randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients with traumatic bone fracture referred to Shohada Hospital of Tabriz, Iran from August to December 2007.  Subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups: cases (n=30), receiving one capsule of zinc sulfate consisting of 50 mg zinc each day and the controls (n=30), receiving placebo for 60 days.  Individual and clinical information was determined by a questionnaire: nutritional intake by 3 days food records at the beginning and the end of trial.  Serum zinc and alkaline phosphatase was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and by enzymatic method.  Callus formation during fracture healing was evaluated by radiography of the bone.  There was no significant difference in physical activity, gender, age, type of fractures, and nutrient intake, between the 2 groups.  The administration of zinc caused a significant elevation of serum zinc and alkaline phosphatase activity.  Assessment of bone X- rays showed a significant progress in callus formation in cases compared to the controls.  This study shows that zinc supplementation can stimulate fracture healing, however, it needs further study.