INTRODUCTION: As obesity rates increase, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increases as well. Numerous micronutrient deficiencies are associated with NAFLD. The development of NAFLD is thought to be influenced by zinc (Zn) deficiency. This study aims to investigate the relationship between NAFLD and serum Zn levels as well as some other parameters in obese children.
METHODS: This study examined the medical records of children and adolescents with obesity in the pediatric gastroenterology polyclinic 1 at the Adana City Training and Research Hospital between October 01, 2017 and August 31, 2022. Participants were evaluated in two groups, group 1 (NAFLD patients) and group 2 (non-NAFLD patients). Anthropometric and laboratory data were obtained from the patients file.
RESULTS: There were 91 patients (32 [35.1%] boys and 59 [64.8%] girls) who were 11.67±3.42 years old. Forty-two (46.1%) of the patients were affected by NAFLD, whereas 49 (53.8%) had normal results. The mean serum Zn level of the patients was 84.36±20.02 μg/dL. A statistically significant increase in serum Zn levels in group 2 compared to group 1 (89.96±7.99 μg/dL, 80.48±24.58 μg/dL; p=0.030) was observed. Other parameters did not show a significant difference between the groups (p>0.05). In logistic regression analysis, there was a significant negative correlation between NAFLD the presence and serum Zn level (p=0.049), but there was no significant correlation between the other parameters (p>0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The present study is the first to examine the relationship between NAFLD and serum Zn in obese children in the literature. There was a statistically significant negative correlation between the presence of NAFLD and the level of serum Zn. According to these findings, Zn supplementation may be one of the treatment options for NAFLD management, and further studies with more patients are needed to investigate this possibility.