1. Zinc metabolism was studied in 11 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and 13 healthy volunteers using the isotope tracer 65Zn.
2. Intestinal absorption, whole-body content and total daily elimination of zinc were all increased in alcoholic cirrhosis, but the biological half-life of zinc did not differ from controls.
3. Hepatic zinc concentration was reduced in alcoholic cirrhosis and correlated with changes in hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase activity.
4. Patients with alcoholic cirrhosis in this study were not demonstrated to be zinc-deficient.