The Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Hair Element Levels in Elite Female Athletes

Author(s): Günay Eskici*

Background: Zinc is important element for athlete’s performance. Aim: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of different doses of zinc supplementation on the hair element levels in elite female athletes. Subjects and Methods: The research was applied on a total number of 20 female athletes playing in volleyball team. The subjects who were randomly allocated into two groups with equal members were administered 220 mg/day (Group 1) and 440 mg/day (Group 2) zinc sulfate. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used in order to identify magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), phosphor (P) and zinc(Zn) levels (μg/g) in the collected hair samples. Results: The analysis of the athletes’ hair samples showed significant difference between the groups only Ca levels (p<0.05, Group 2>Group 1) after 1 and 2 weeks of Zn supplementation. While both doses of zinc supplementation resulted in a significant change in Se levels (p<0.05), the hair Se levels in the last week of administration were significantly lower for both groups compared to the initial levels. Conclusion: While the change in hair element level by weeks was significant in terms of selenium for both groups, which was not significant in terms of Mg, Ca, Fe, Cu, P and Zn levels.


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