HealthDay News — Patients with alopecia areata (AA) have significantly lower serum levels of zinc and selenium, according to a meta-analysis published online February 2 in The Journal of Dermatology.

Waishu Jin, from Yuhuangding Hospital in Yantai, China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine alterations of serum level of trace elements in AA. They examined the correlation between serum level of zinc, copper, iron/ferritin, selenium, or magnesium and AA using data from 10 eligible articles with 764 individuals. 

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The researchers found that, compared with controls, patients with AA had a lower serum level of zinc and selenium (both P<10−4). No significant differences were seen between AA patients and controls in the levels of serum copper, iron, ferritin, and magnesium (P=0.81, 0.36, 0.37, and 0.07, respectively).

“In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that the deficiency of zinc and selenium may be associated with the susceptibility of AA, and well-designed studies with adequate control for expounding what extent the correction of zinc and selenium levels contribute to AA improvement are required in future investigations,” the authors write.

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