Introduction: Zinc is an essential trace element for human nutrition, and its deficiency is
associated with anorexia, poor food efficiency, growth retardation, and impaired neurological
and immune systems. The zinc-deficiency rate is particularly high in many disease states, such
as with end-stage renal disease patients undertaking hemodialysis. The aim of this study was
to determine the effect of zinc supplementation on body mass index (BMI) and serum levels of
zinc and leptin in pediatric hemodialysis patients.
Patients and methods: This was a prospective clinical trial study in which 60 hemodialysis
patients were randomly divided into two groups: group I received 50–100 mg zinc sulfate
(equivalent to 11–22 mg elemental zinc) according to age, sex, and nutritional status of the
child; and group II received placebo (cornstarch) twice daily for 90 days. Anthropometric measurements were taken, and serum zinc and leptin levels were determined by colorimetric test
with 5-Br-3-phosphoadenosine-5-phosphosulfate and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay,
respectively, at days 0 and 90 of the study.
Results: Zinc supplementation resulted in a significant increase in mean serum zinc level and
BMI. Serum leptin decreased significantly after supplementation in children under hemodialysis.
A significant negative correlation was observed between serum zinc and leptin levels as a result
of zinc supplementation.
Conclusion: There was an increase in serum zinc level and BMI and decreased serum leptin
after zinc supplementation in children under hemodialysis.