Zinc is an essential mineral because it has an enormous range of responsibilities in the human body. It’s responsible for immune function, wound healing, cell division, protein synthesis, and DNA synthesis. Without sufficient zinc intake, many functions of the body will suffer. You may notice slow wound healing, ache, skin rashes, impaired taste, impaired smell, sexual hormone imbalances, and more. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend 8 mg of zinc daily.
The highest risk individuals of zinc deficiency are vegetarians, lactating women, and gastrointestinal disorder patients with absorption problems. The NIH recommends pregnant women have 11 mg daily and lactating women 12 mg. A deficiency may lead to children who do not grow or develop normally.
Acquiring the recommended zinc dosage each day is simple for people who regularly consume zinc-rich diets. Foods such as ground beef, turkey, lamb, seafood, pork loin, fortified grains, lentils, baked beans, and chickpeas are all excellent examples for zinc sources. Taking a daily supplement may also be necessary for at-risk populations. Luckily they are very inexpensive. A bottle of 100 tablets shouldn’t cost more than four or five dollars. Taking zinc supplements by themselves may be more readily absorbed than a multivitamin, where zinc has to compete with many vitamins and minerals for absorption. Studies show that zinc supplementation may also improve some of the negative effects related to menstruation in women. It may also improve mood for both men and women.
Zinc deficiency is so common in my practice that I began offering complimentary zinc taste tests. The patient drinks liquid zinc and if they notice an immediate bitter and metallic taste, they have adequate zinc levels. If they taste nothing or they have a delayed and/or mild taste, they are zinc deficient. Make sure to drop by my office and ask for the complimentary zinc taste test.