Association of Plasma Zinc and Copper with Body Composition, Lipids and Inflammation in a Cross-Sectional General Population Sample from Germany


Cara Övermöhle, Gerald Rimbach, Sabina Waniek, Eike A. Strathmann, Tatjana Liedtke, Paula Stürmer, Marcus Both, Katharina S. Weber, Wolfgang Lieb








We aimed to relate circulating plasma zinc and copper to a broad spectrum of adiposity-related traits in a cross-sectional Northern German study (n = 841, 42% female, age: 61 ± 12 years). Zinc and copper were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue and liver fat were derived from 534 and 538 participants, respectively, via magnet resonance imaging. Associations were assessed using multivariable-adjusted linear regression analysis. An increase per one standard deviation (SD) in zinc was associated with direct linear increases in body mass index (BMI) (1.17%; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.15-2.20%), waist circumference (0.85%; 95%CI 0.04-1.67%) and waist-to-hip ratio (0.64%; 95%CI 0.18-1.09%). A 1-SD increment in copper was directly associated with BMI (1.64%; 0.41-2.88%) and waist circumference (1.22%; 95%CI 0.25-2.20%) but not waist-to-hip ratio. Independent of fat intake, zinc displayed associations with VAT (5.73%; 95%CI 2.04-9.56%) and with liver fat (3.84%; 95%CI 1.49-6.25%), the latter association being also independent of BMI. Copper was directly associated with SAT (4.64%; 95%CI 0.31-9.15%) before accounting for BMI, but showed no association with VAT or liver fat. Observed associations suggest a possible relevance of zinc and copper to adiposity. Particularly zinc displayed associations with traits of abdominal adiposity and liver fat.