Symptoms Of Zinc Deficiency
Zinc is utilized by your body in cell production and immune functions. If you become zinc deficient, your body can’t produce healthy new cells leading to symptoms such as:
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Delayed wound healing.
- Decreased or abnormal sense of smell and taste.
- A decrease in appetite.
- Open sores on the skin.
- Predisposition to infections.
- Difficulty with concentration.
- Thinning hair or hair loss.
- Being more prone to frequent asthma exacerbations.
Who Could Be At Risk?
The people at the highest risk of zinc deficiency in the United States may include but are not limited to:
- Infants who are breastfeeding.
- Pregnant women.
- Those who abuse alcohol.
- Those on a restricted diet.
- Those with intestinal conditions.
- Those with diabetes.
- Those with cancer.
- Older adults.
4 Great Benefits Of Zinc
- Immune System. Zinc is a key micronutrient that our body needs for a healthy immune system. There are many ways zinc boosts the immune system but one main purpose is that it activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria so they are less able to spread. Zinc also promotes the activation of cells responsible for fighting infection. Because it is vital for immune cell function, a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response.
- Proper Wound Healing. It is quite common for zinc to be used in hospitals as a primary treatment for burns, skin injuries, and certain types of ulcers. This important mineral plays critical roles in collagen synthesis, inflammatory response, and immune function and is crucial for proper healing. Zinc benefits the body by helping to support the structural integrity of dermal tissue and mucosal membranes. This is why many clinicians turn to zinc supplements for those suffering from skin ulcers. An additional benefit is that zinc aids in the division of cells, which is the function responsible for generating new tissue.
- Decreases Inflammation. Zinc reduces oxidative stress and decreases levels of certain inflammatory proteins in your body. Oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, a contributing factor in a wide array of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer as well as mental decline. Research has shown that those who took 45 mg of zinc per day experienced greater reductions in inflammatory markers than a placebo group.
- Healthy Skin. Zinc benefits the skin and allows it to do what it’s supposed to such as, protect you from heat and cold, bacteria, and viruses. Zinc supplements or ointment are often used to treat certain skin problems, like acne.
Ways To Increase Your Intake Of Zinc
- Meat. Meat is an excellent source of zinc. In fact, a 100-gram serving of raw ground beef provides 44% of the DV.
- Nuts. Nuts are both a healthy and convenient snack that can raise your intake of zinc and is also packed with many other healthy nutrients.
- Seeds. Certain seeds like hemp, pumpkin, squash, and sesame seeds contain significant amounts of zinc. They also happen to be a good source of fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
- Eggs. One large egg contains 5% of the DV for zinc, as well as other nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, selenium, and choline.
- Whole Grains. Whole grains can be a contribution as a source of zinc in your diet. However, the zinc provided may not be absorbed as well as other sources due to the presence of phytates which, in turn, decreases zinc absorption.
- Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate can be a source of zinc. Unfortunately, it’s also high in calories and sugar, so it should not be eaten as a primary source of zinc.
- Shellfish. Shellfish like oysters, mussels, crab, and shrimp can all contribute to your daily zinc needs.
- Supplements. While most Americans receive adequate zinc from their meat-rich diet, some people may be recommended to take more, as a supplement by itself or as part of a multivitamin. This can be advantageous if you don’t get enough in your diet or you have certain medical conditions. It is important to be sure to check with your health care professional to determine your exact need and to review and side effects or interactions. Recommended doses are; an adult man needs 11 milligrams a day, and an adult woman, 8 milligrams. You may need more if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Children require 2 to 11 milligrams depending on their age and gender.
Zinc is a nutrient that plays many significant roles in your body. Since your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must attain it through food or supplements. Eating foods that are rich in zinc may be the solution for a zinc deficiency, however, sometimes supplements are necessary.
If you are interested in learning more about health and wellness, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted practitioners at SHIN Wellness. We offer many holistic treatments such as Decompression Therapy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Neurofeedback, Psychology, Reiki, Nutrition, Corrective Exercises, and Massage. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized consultation. Our Wellness Center and Chiropractor office in Miami Florida specializes in restoring your health!