Serum Copper and Zinc Concentrations in Healthy Children Aged 3–14 Years in Greece

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Zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) are essential trace elements in people, being required for functional activity of several enzyme systems. In this study, we determined Cu and Zn concentrations in the serum of 105 healthy children randomly selected, aged 3–14 yr, residing in a region of Greece (Thrace), and we investigated their association with children's gen-der, age, height, weight, and nutritional habits. The mean levels of Zn and Cu were 15.01±2.95 μmol/L and 26.18±5.47 μmol/L, respectively, with no significant difference between boys and girls. Asignificant positive correlation was found between age and Zn levels, and a negative one was found between age and Cu levels. Both Zn and Cu levels tended to increase with height, whereas Zn levels significantly decreased with increasing body mass indent (BMI). The consumption of meat, milk, and eggs were independent determinants for higher Zn levels, and the con-sumption of legumes and fruits were independent determinants for higher Cu levels. Asignificant negative correlation was found between Zn and Cu levels. In conclusion, our study, the first one evaluating the serum status of Cu and Zn in healthy Greek children, identified significant correlations of Zn and Cu levels with their age, height, BMI, and nutritional habits.

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