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We all know that zinc is something our body needs. But, what are the signs and symptoms of Zinc deficiency? And what does it mean?

What does zinc do?

Zinc is a mineral that is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions within your cells and you can’t live without it. Amongst a variety of roles, zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system*, to normal cognitive function* and protects cells from oxidative stress*. It also contributes to normal fertility and reproduction*, the maintenance of normal vision, hair, skin and nails* and much more.

What is Zinc Deficiency?

Zinc deficiency is when the body does not have enough zinc for a length of time. Zinc deficiency can cause many different symptoms within the body.

Zinc Deficiency Symptoms

Because zinc affects so many systems in the body, there is no single distinct symptom of zinc deficiency.

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Loss of or diminished smell and taste
  • Poor wound healing
  • Hair loss
  • Roughening of skin/rashes
  • Low libido (men)
  • Ulcers
  • Lethargy
  • Deformed nails.

If symptoms progress, there can be:

  • Serious immune problems
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe hair loss (even total)
  • Loss of night vision
  • Significant rash around the mouth and genitals.

Other Symptoms of zinc deficiency include:

  • Infections –  especially skin, respiratory, GI and urinary,
  • A metallic taste in mouth
  • Lip fissures
  • Cracked/peeling lips
  • Loss of appetite
  • Prostate problems (men)
  • Irregular periods in women

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and believe they could be caused by zinc deficiency contact your GP before starting any new supplements.

How can I increase my consumption of Zinc?

Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Some of the best sources include shellfish, other seafood, meat, dairy products, legumes (beans, peas, nuts and lentils), and seeds.

If you don’t eat a lot of these things, zinc is also found in most multivitamin and mineral food supplements. If you have lower than normal levels, take a zinc food supplement.

How much Zinc do I need?

The Nutrient Reference Value (daily requirement for most adults) is 10mg a day.  This is the amount required when you don’t have proven lower-than-normal levels/deficiency. If you have a zinc deficiency you will need more than this until your levels are normal again.

Can you take too much Zinc? And what are the risks?

If you are maintaining your health and have no health concerns, 10mg of zinc a day is a safe amount. If you have a zinc deficiency or lower levels than normal, a higher daily intake is required for a set duration as recommended by a health professional.

Most people can take up to 40mg a day long term without any health risks.

Zinc can have toxicity and side effects when taken in higher doses for a long period of time. Zinc can deplete copper in the body, so if you are taking more than 40mg of supplemental zinc for more than a few months, you need to make sure you also take a copper supplement.

Zinc from Altruvita

At Altruvita, we are passionate about health of the body. One of the food supplements we offer is Zinc.

Altruvita Max Strength Zinc contains 25mg of high absorbing zinc a day in a pot of 60 tablets.

Zinc psoriasis

* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS