Zinc nutrition, metabolism and dietary requirements

Dietary Zinc Requirements- the "EURRECA" network

EURRECA (European micronutrient recommendations aligned) is a consortium of scientists, representatives of nutrient requirement setting bodies, consumer organisations, small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and wider stakeholders from across Europe who have worked together since 2007 to build a toolkit for setting dietary recommendations to help harmonise recommendations across Europe.
Lead PIs: Dr Nicola Lowe, Dr Victoria Moran, Prof Fiona Dykes. International Institute of Nutritional Sciences, and Food Safety Studies, University of Central Lancashire.
Participants: "EURRECA" Network of Excellence with partners from 34 institutions around Europe, Co-ordinated by ILSI. www.eurreca.org. The team at UCLAN have worked closely with the University of East Anglia (UK), Wageningen University in Holland, University of Grand Canaria Las Palmas, University of Munich in Germany, Zaragoza University in Spain.
Funding: European Commission, Framework 5.
Objective: The EURRECA goal is to produce harmonised scientific guidelines for those developing recommendations. The Network is developing and applying tools that will help EFSA, as well as any organisation charged with developing and revising nutrient recommendations.
Methodology: A Series of systematic reviews with meta-analysis of published data examining the relationships between zinc intake, status and health outcomes.
Contact: Nicola Lowe

Nutrition support programme in developing countries- special focus on Zinc

Lead PI: Dr Nicola Lowe, International Institute of Nutritional Sciences, and Food Safety Studies, University of Central Lancashire
Participants: Prof Fiona Dykes, Mick Mckeown, Dr Tasneem Ali, Marisol Warthon-Medina (UCLAN), Dr Monique Lhussier (Northumbrian University) Prof Mukhtiar Zaman (Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, PK), Prof Sarah Safdar (University of Peshawar), Helen Bingley (Abaseen Foundation, http://www.abaseenfoundation.org.uk/).
Funding: One aspect of this research programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Community engagement Programme.
Objectives: The programme consists of a number of related research activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. Overall Aim: To address malnutrition, with particular emphasis on mothers and infants, through community participation, enquiry and engagement. This includes the doctoral research of Marisol Warthon-Medina who is investigating the role of maternal zinc supplementation on cognitive development in infants. The primary objective of the Wellcome Trust funded project is to generate understanding about the mechanisms of the Jirga system as a culturally embedded route for community engagement and explore its potential for community engagement in research.
Methodology: A range of quantitative and qualitative techniques are used, including participatory appraisal, dietary analysis, anthropometry.
Contact: Nicola Lowe

Human Biomarkers of Zinc Status (HuBZS) Project

Lead PI: Prof. John Beattie, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, UK
Participants: Prof. Nancy Krebs, University of Colorado in Denver, USA and Prof. John Draper, University of Aberystwyth, UK
Funding: UK Department of Health
Objective: Develop novel biomarkers of zinc status using an integrated metabolomic/proteomic/transcriptomic approach with urine, blood and saliva samples
Methodology: 100 volunteers given low or high zinc diets for 10 weeks, and supplemented with zinc or placebo for the latter 4 weeks. Samples drawn at 0, 3, 5, 8 and 10 weeks. Stable isotopes used to measure exchangeable zinc pool size.
Website: HuBZS Project
Contact: John Beattie

Zinc and atherosclerosis

Lead PIs: Prof. John Beattie, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, UK and Prof. In-Sook Kwun, Andong National University, South Korea
Participants: Prof. Graeme Nixon, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK and Prof. Joerg Feldmann, Department of Chemistry, University of Aberdeen, UK
Funding: Global Research Network Program Grant from the Korean National Research Foundation
Objective: Demonstrate and understand the influence of zinc status on vascular health, atherosclerosis and vascular calcification
Methodology: A mutidisciplinary approach from 4 experts in their fields, involving molecular and cell studies, novel technologies and also small animal studies using appropriate models
Contact: John Beattie

Map of Zinc-UK members

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