Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (June 2002) 31(1): 1-8





Food Science Program

School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology,

Faculty of Science and Technology,

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


This study was conducted to assess zinc status via dietary intake, urine and hair zinc concentration on diabetic (DM) and non-diabetic (NDM) elderly staying in selected old folks homes. The study was carried out on 163 respondents between 60-90 years with average age of 69.5 ± 7.0 years. Detection and recognition thresholds for sweetness and saltiness were also determined. Correlation analyses was conducted to evaluate the relationship between all parameters assessed. Zinc intake of the DM was lower than the NDM in both sexes. However overall dietary zinc intake was lower than the reference value taken from US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Diabetic male respondents were found to have higher sweetness detection thresholds than NDM male. However both male and female, DM were more sensitive towards sweetness and saltiness. Female respondents seemed to have lower thresholds for sweetness and saltiness compared to male respondents. Assessment of hair zinc concentration indicated DM respondents had higher hair zinc concentration than NDM for both sexes. Diabetic male were found to have higher concentration of zinc in urine compared to the NDM. Meanwhile the results of female respondents were reversed. However no significant difference were found between the DM and NDM male and female groups. No significant relationships were found for all assessed variable of zinc urine, zinc hair and zinc in diet with taste thresholds. However, positive and significant correlation was found for detection and recognition threshold of sweetness and saltiness in the DM (r=0.34, p< 0.001). A positive and significant correlation was also found for zinc urine (r=0.61, p<0.01)) and hair concentration (r=0.61, p<0.01)) for DM and NDM. Overall observation indicated all respondents have good nutritional zinc status except for zinc dietary intake, which might need improvement.


Kajian ini dilakukan untuk menilai status zink melalui pengambilan makanan, kepekatan zink rambut dan urin di kalangan warga tua diabetik (DM) dan bukan diabetik (NDM) yang tinggal di rumah-rumah orang tua terpilih. Kajian ini dijalankan ke atas 163 orang responden di antara umur 60-90 tahun dengan purata umur 69.5 ± 7.0 tahun. Nilai ambang pengesanan dan spesifik bagi rasa manis dan masin juga ditentukan. Analisis korelasi turut dilakukan untuk menilai hubungan di antara parameter-parameter yang dikaji. Pengambilan zink dalam diet bagi DM didapati lebih rendah daripada NDM bagi kedua-dua jantina. Walau bagaimanapun, pengambilan zink diet secara keseluruhannya lebih rendah daripada nilai rujukan US RDA. Responden lelaki DM didapati mempunyai nilai ambang pengesanan rasa manis yang lebih tinggi daripada NDM. Namun begitu, lelaki dan perempuan DM didapati lebih sensitive terhadap rasa manis dan masin. Responden perempuan pula didapati mempunyai nilai ambang yang lebih rendah bagi rasa manis dan masin berbanding responden lelaki. Penilaian ke atas sampel rambut menunjukkan kepekatan zink rambut bagi responden DM adalah lebih tinggi daripada NDM bagi lelaki dan perempuan. Lelaki DM didapati mempunyai kepekatan zink urin yang lebih tinggi berbanding lelaki NDM. Walau bagaimanapun, keputusan kepekatan zink dalam urin bagi wanita adalah sebaliknya. Tidak terdapat perbezaan yang bererti bagi nilai zink urin di antara DM dan NDM lelaki dan perempuan. Tiada hubungan yang signifikan didapati untuk kesemua variabel bagi zink dalam urin, rambut dan diet dengan nilai ambang rasa. Walaupun begitu, terdapat kolerasi yang positif dan signifikan didapati di antara nilai ambang pengesanan dan spesifik rasa manis dan masin golongan DM (r=0.34, p< 0.001). Hubungan yang positif dan signifikan didapati bagi zink urin (r=0.61, p<0.01)) dan rambut (r=0.61, p<0.01)) bagi DM dan NDM. Pemerhatian keseluruhan menunjukkan kesemua responden mempunyai status zink yang baik kecuali bagi pengambilan zink dalam diet yang masih boleh diperbaiki.

Key words: zinc status, elderly, dietary zinc, hair zinc, urine zinc, diabetic, taste threshold, sweetness and saltiness.


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