The pancreas is an important organ in the maintenance of zinc homeostasis. Endogenous zinc is con-tinuously secreted via pancreatic exocrine fluid or to a lesser extent in bile. Much of the endogenous secretion must be reabsorbed to sustain zinc homeostasis. The objective of this study was to estimate the relative size of the pancreatic/biliary zinc pool in comparision to the dietary zinc intake, and to study the effect of the phytate and calcium on the zinc homeostasis using a rat model. At the termination of the experiment, pan-creatic/biliary fluid was collected from the rats. Both radioactivity and total zinc were measured and the relative size of the pancreatic/biliary zinc pool was estimated. To determine the effect of phytate and calcium on zinc homeostsis, dietary zinc intake, the amount of zinc in pancreatic.biliary fluid and fecal zinc excretion were measured. The flow rate of pancreatic/biliary fluid, as corrected for tubing constriction, gives the corrected zinc concentration in the pancreatic/biliary fluid was 2.2 times higher than dietary zinc intake. To maintain zinc homeostasis, zinc absorption/reabsorption was very efficient in the current model; 76%, 88% of absorption/reabsorption for low calcium group and high calcium group 81% for phytate group and non-phytate group, respectively.
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