The effects of dietary inclusion of freeze-dried goat and cow milk on the utilization of zinc and selenium, and on the metabolic fate of zinc, were studied in transected (control) and resected rats (resection of 50% of the distal small intestine). Intestinal resection reduced the apparent digestibility coefficient and zinc retention in the cow milk diet, whereas these biological indices were similar in transected (control) and resected rats with standard (without milk) and goat milk diets. The apparent digestibility coefficient and retention of selenium were not affected by intestinal resection in the animals fed with the three diets studied. In transected (control) and resected rats, the apparent digestibility coefficient and retention of zinc and selenium were higher for the goat milk diet than for the other two diets. Zinc deposits in the organs, expressed as μg/g dry weight were in order of decreasing concentrations: femur, testes, sternum, liver, kidney, heart, spleen, longissimus dorsi muscle and brain. Deposits were greatest with the goat milk diet, followed by the standard diet and were lowest for the rats given the cow milk diet, both for transected (control) and resected animals.
We conclude that consumption of the goat milk diet produces a greater bioavailability of zinc and selenium and a greater deposit of zinc in key organs, for both the transected (control) and the resected rats, with respect to the standard diet and the cow milk diet.