Zinc deficiency, as reported by The World Health Organisation, is a significant problem for most countries in the world.
Everyone, young and old requires regular zinc intake from their diet.
Lack of this vital mineral is linked to poor health status so it is essential that the body has the necessary amount.
What is zinc?
Zinc is one of 16 essential minerals required by the body to function properly.
Present throughout the whole body zinc is in every cell, tissue, bone and organ. It can also be found in our bodily fluid and is prominent in the prostate gland and semen in men.
Zinc plays an extremely important role as it is a co-factor for many different enzymes and processes in the body.
Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system, growth and development, reproduction, taste and smell, the production of haemoglobin and DNA synthesis.
It is also necessary for healthy hormone balance as it is required to manufacture hormones.
Common Signs of Zinc Deficiency
- Loss of taste and smell
- Slow wound healing
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Decreased immunity
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Susceptibility to viruses
- White spots on the nails
- Skin issues (acne, eczema)
- Cracked or peeling lips
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Stretch marks
Risk Factors for Zinc Deficiency
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Poor absorption issues
- Diabetes (Seek advice from your health care provider if supplementing with zinc)
Where To Get Zinc in Your Diet
The NHS Recommended Daily Allowance for zinc in your diet is 9.5mg a day for men and 7mg a day for women.
In your diet you can find zinc in red meat, oysters, crab, dark chocolate, milk, cheese, black beans, whole milk yoghurt, cashews and almonds.
It is important to note that because plant-based diets are high in phytic acid the absorption of zinc may be inhibited.
Supplementing with Zinc
If you have signs of zinc deficiency there are various zinc supplements on the market.
If supplementing with zinc for extended periods of time it is useful to know your zinc status by testing here. If you use the code Botanica at checkout, you will receive a 10% discount.
When taken in excess zinc can result in copper, iron, chromium or manganese deficiency.