From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history
Zinc (chemical or element symbol Zn) is an essential element found in hundreds of enzymes, plays a role in immune function and can modulate brain excitability.
- 2006, Lower serum zinc in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): relationships to immune dysfunctions and relevance for the oxidative stress status in CFS
"Abstract - The present study examines serum zinc concentrations in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) versus normal volunteers. Serum zinc levels were determined by means of an atomic absorption method. We found that serum zinc was significantly lower in the CFS patients than in the normal controls. There was a trend toward a significant negative correlation between serum zinc and the severity of CFS and there was a significant and negative correlation between serum zinc and the subjective experience of infection. We found that serum zinc was significantly and negatively correlated to the increase in the alpha2 protein fraction and positively correlated to decreases in the expression of mitogen-induced CD69+ (a T cell activation marker) on CD3+ as well as CD3+CD8+ T cells. These results show that CFS is accompanied by a low serum zinc status and that the latter is related to signs of inflammation and defects in early T cell activation pathways. Since zinc is a strong anti-oxidant, the present results further support the findings that CFS is accompanied by increased oxidative stress. The results of these reports suggest that some patients with CFS should be treated with specific antioxidants, including zinc supplements."
- 2005, In chronic fatigue syndrome, the decreased levels of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids are related to lowered serum zinc and defects in T cell activation
"Abstract - There is now evidence that major depression is accompanied by decreased levels of omega3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). There is a strong comorbidity between major depression and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The present study has been carried out in order to examine PUFA levels in CFS. In twenty-two CFS patients and 12 normal controls we measured serum PUFA levels using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. We found that CFS was accompanied by increased levels of omega6 PUFAs, i.e. linoleic acid and arachidonic acid (AA), and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), i.e. oleic acid. The EPA/AA and total omega3/omega6 ratios were significantly lower in CFS patients than in normal controls. The omega3/omega6 ratio was significantly and negatively correlated to the severity of illness and some items of the FibroFatigue scale, i.e. aches and pain, fatigue and failing memory. The severity of illness was significantly and positively correlated to linoleic and arachidonic acid, oleic acid, omega9 fatty acids and one of the saturated fatty acids, i.e. palmitic acid. In CFS subjects, we found significant positive correlations between the omega3/omega6 ratio and lowered serum zinc levels and the lowered mitogen-stimulated CD69 expression on CD3+, CD3+ CD4+, and CD3+ CD8+ T cells, which indicate defects in early T cell activation. The results of this study show that a decreased availability of omega3 PUFAs plays a role in the pathophysiology of CFS and is related to the immune pathophysiology of CFS. The results suggest that patients with CFS should respond favourably to treatment with--amongst other things--omega3 PUFAs, such as EPA and DHA."
- Maes, Michael; Mihaylova, Ivana; Leunis, Jean-Claude (December 2005), "In chronic fatigue syndrome, the decreased levels of omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids are related to lowered serum zinc and defects in T cell activation", Neuro Endocrinology Letters, 26 (6): 745–751, ISSN 0172-780X, PMID 16380690
- Maes, Michael; Mihaylova, Ivana; De Ruyter, Marcel (February 2006), "Lower serum zinc in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): relationships to immune dysfunctions and relevance for the oxidative stress status in CFS", Journal of Affective Disorders, 90 (2-3): 141–147, ISSN 0165-0327, PMID 16338007, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2005.11.002