How Zinc Deficiency Affects the Whole Body


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I find it ironic that I have been deficient in zinc for years without realizing it, especially since I wrote a senior biology paper on the functions of zinc in human biology.

Like magnesium, I know a lot of ways zinc works inside the body, but I assume I’m getting enough from food. Many processed foods are fortified with zinc, and it is also found naturally in foods such as oysters, beef, poultry, pumpkin seeds, mutton, spinach and yogurt.

The role of zinc in the body

Zinc is a type of master mineral (with magnesium), and is required for many reactions in the body. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, zinc is not stored in the body for long, so we need a constant supply of standard zinc from our diet.

We don’t need large amounts of zinc every day, but it is important that we get enough. Zinc is technically an essential trace element that is important for:

  • Proper immune function
  • Skin health and hair growth
  • Food metabolism and absorption of other nutrients
  • Hormone balance
  • Gut health
  • Mental clarity
  • Wound healing
  • DNA synthesis
  • Eye health
  • Proper cell division (this is an important reason during pregnancy)
  • Even the proper taste and smell

We know that zinc is involved in thousands of reactions inside the body and recent research also shows that zinc can be important in protecting the body from a variety of viruses and cancers.

Zinc is especially important during fertility and pregnancy and nursing, although pregnant and nursing women and young children may be at higher risk for zinc deficiency. Some studies have also shown that zinc is necessary in children to avoid premature labor and low birth weight, although more research is needed in this area.

About 90% of the body’s zinc is found in muscle and bone tissue, making it difficult to diagnose zinc deficiency. In fact, plasma zinc makes up only 0.1% of the zinc in the body. When used, zinc is absorbed in the small intestine. It is then excreted through the skin, kidneys and intestines.

A sign of zinc deficiency

Zinc can be a big problem all over the world instead of being thought of once. Although severe zinc deficiency can cause a number of severe symptoms, researchers estimate that the world’s largest population may have a mild zinc deficiency.

Pregnant and nursing women are considered to be at higher risk for zinc deficiency (and this was due to my deficiency), such as children with bowel problems, premature babies, or those who ate a high-grain or vegetarian diet. Eaten (especially over a long period of time). People with liver or kidney disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases and high iron intake are also at risk.

Although the symptoms may vary, they are often related to zinc deficiency:

  • Poor memory
  • Weakened immune systems or common colds, such as the common cold
  • Lack of taste or smell
  • Sleep Disorders (Zinc is needed to make melatonin)
  • Hair fall
  • Loss of appetite
  • Kim Albeido
  • Diarrhea
  • Brain fog
  • Slow wound healing
  • White spots on nails
  • In severe cases: Growth in children

The medical text states that zinc deficiency can be difficult to diagnose, as plasma / serum zinc levels do not necessarily have to be a good measure of the body’s zinc level and zinc deficiency despite normal lab results. May be present. For this reason, doctors often diagnose zinc deficiency based on symptoms.

Zinc and pregnancy

Zinc is especially important for pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and nursing. It plays an important role in cell division and while researchers do not fully understand how it supports full-term pregnancies and reduces the incidence of pre-term labor in some women.

One theory is that zinc is necessary to balance the hormones that contribute to labor, while another theory states that the role of zinc in maintaining the immune system helps reduce the incidence of uterine infections or other infections. Which can lead to premature labor.

Just as zinc is essential for the proper integration of other nutrients, it may also help the mother maintain her overall nutritional status during this time of need for additional nutrients. Because of this, I found it important to supplement zinc as part of a holistic nutrition plan that includes synchronized nutrients and dense foods with multiple nutrients.

Ironically, fortified breakfast lentils and oatmeal (and to a lesser extent, chocolate) are the best source of zinc, and many women (including me) report cravings for these foods during pregnancy.

Like so many things in life, the more important the better. Certain amounts of zinc are required and can be either too much (too much or too little) harmful.

In fact, the National Academy of Sciences prescribes a minimum of 8 mg / day and a maximum of 40 mg / day for women over 18 years of age.

Daily RDA for zinc intake
Source: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional / #h8

In the perfect world, this amount can be obtained from food, although due to poor soil quality and other nutritional factors, this is not always possible.

It is important not to supplement zinc without consulting a health professional, as overuse can lead to a decrease in iron and copper levels in the body and in severe cases can lead to vomiting and GI problems (although these Commonly found in only 100 users (200 mg of zinc per day or more and usually with dietary zinc is not considered a concern).

Foods high in zinc

It is important to get nutrients from food and even the best nutrients cannot replace nutritious foods (although some people feel the need to supplement certain nutrients in case of deficiency).

For most adults who eat a high quality variety of foods, it should be possible to get enough zinc from food, especially if one eats foods rich in zinc, such as oysters and meat.

Oysters are the highest natural source of zinc with 10x the zinc level of the next highest source (beef).. In fact, one septum contains enough zinc to meet the recommended daily intake, and 3 consignments of meat contain 74 mg of zinc as compared to 7 mg of 3 gouns of meat at height.

Other great food sources of zinc include:

  • Well liver– About 10 mg per 3 ounces
  • Pumpkin seeds– About 9 mg per 3 ounces
  • طاہینی– About 3 mg per 3 ounces
  • Dark chocolate– 8-9 mg per 3 ounces
  • Crab– 6.5 mg per 3 ounces
  • Lobster– 3.4 mg in 3 ounces
  • Pork– 2.9 mg per 3 ounces
  • Beans– 2.9 mg per 3 ounces
  • Deep flesh chicken– 2 ounces 2.4 mg

Other low-fat foods include yogurt and milk, cashews and oatmeal. It is also important to note that many foods contain cereal-like phytates that bind to zinc, making them a low source of zinc and sometimes interfering with zinc levels in the body. This is one of the reasons why long-term consumption of high grain or vegetarian diets is considered a risk factor for zinc deficiency.

Personal note: As I struggled with an unknown zinc deficiency, I discovered that I craved oysters, chocolate, and whole grains, especially during pregnancy. Although I still love oysters and chocolate, this desire went away when I removed the zinc deficiency from my natural pain.

Zinc Supplement: Yes or No?

That is the question. And the answer is that it depends, and that one should consult a competent doctor, physician or midwife before making a decision. Sometimes when zinc supplementation is recommended:

In case of cold and flu: Zinc is considered a cure for colds and flu and is often recommended to shorten the duration of illness. Since zinc is essential for proper immune function, it makes sense. Kochran’s review found that zinc supplementation reduces the severity and duration of the disease when taken at the onset of the disease, however, it is important not to exceed the upper limits for zinc intake. Another randomized, double-blind placebo study found that people who took zinc acetate lozenges had significantly shorter periods of cold than those who took placebo. (Source)

Diarrhea in children: Not so much a concern in the United States, but the World Health Organization recommends that zinc supplementation be recommended for children with severe diarrhea, especially in the developing world, as it is the leading cause of death among children worldwide. There is a bigger reason. In these cases, the WHO recommends 20 mg twice daily for children over 6 months of age, or up to 10 mg twice daily for children under 6 months. (Source)

Risk of pneumonia: Another Cochrane study found that children under the age of 5 who were at risk of pneumonia benefited from zinc supplementation and saw fewer instances of pneumonia and fewer related deaths. (Source)

It is also important to choose a high quality source of finishing zinc if necessary. The body can easily absorb only certain forms of zinc that are bound to other minerals. In food, zinc is naturally bound to other minerals and is generally easier to absorb.

In supplements, chelate forms are generally considered the most absorbent, and these forms usually end up on “eaten” ingredients such as zinc gluconate, zinc acetate and zinc citrate.

Total zinc vs. elemental zinc

In supplements, the total amount of zinc may not even accurately represent the amount of bioavailable elemental zinc (which means RDA). Dr. Mercula explained that RDA for zinc (listed in the chart) refers to elemental zinc and that each form of zinc can contain a different percentage of elemental zinc.

This information (but not always) should always be on the side container. As an example, zinc sulfate (a zinc salt and not one of the highly absorbent forms) contains only 23% elemental zinc, meaning that it takes about 200 mg to reach the upper daily limit for this form. Will and Taking only 8-12 mg of the recommended amount of zinc sulphate daily will actually yield a small portion of the recommended amount..

Other substances in foods or beverages (such as caffeine and phytates) can inhibit zinc absorption, so if zinc foods or supplements contain foods containing these supplements within a few hours, absorption may be stopped.

How do I make zinc supplements?

As I said, I took the supplement after consulting a doctor and I recommend that you consult your doctor for the right procedure for your family. I have done this, not to be confused with medical advice:

Again, this is just my personal experience and it is important to talk to a qualified professional before completing any of the nutrients, especially zinc and especially the recommended daily intake.

Bottom line

Zinc is an important nutrient that the body needs for thousands of reasons, but moderation is just as important as all the good things in life. Although severe zinc deficiency is not common in the developed world, there is growing evidence that lower zinc deficiency is predominant and can affect skin, eye, hair and immune health.

With the guidance of a qualified physician or practitioner, some individuals may benefit from a diet or supplemental zinc supplementation to promote overall health and immune health. More research is needed on the role of zinc, especially during fertility and pregnancy, as preliminary research has shown that zinc can reduce the chances of premature labor, pre-leukemia, and low birth weight. Is.

This article was written by Dr. Scott Soares, MD, Medical Director, Family Physician and Study MD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk to your doctor.

Ever taken zinc? Turkish Chocolate What was your experience?

Sources:

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3102454/
    2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19472602/
    3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19472602/



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