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Zinc deficiency

Zinc is an important trace mineral that is found in almost every cell of the human body. It plays many crucial roles in our daily lives. Zinc plays an important role in the growth-height, weight, and bone development in infants, children and teenagers. Zinc helps in building healthy immune system by playing a crucial role in the development of the white blood cells called T-lymphocytes. Increased levels of zinc in the human body have proven effective in fighting pneumonia, diarrhea and infection. Zinc can also reduce the duration and severity of a common cold.


Causes of Zinc Deficiency


  • Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption.
  • Medications like ace inhibitors (blood pressure medications), diuretics and antacids.
  • Diets high in carbohydrates.
  • Ingredients in the food colorings yellow, green, orange and the food additive tartrazine can deplete the bodies zinc reserve.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of the senses like taste and smell, white spots on the fingernails, acne, delayed sexual maturation, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol levels, impaired night vision, impotence, increased susceptibility to infection, infertility, memory impairment, prostate trouble, recurrent colds, and flu, skin lesions and slow wound healing.


Zinc supplements

Several forms of zinc exist and are known as zinc amino acid chelate, zinc gluconate, zinc sulfate, and zinc chloride. Zinc supplements come in the form of tablets, liquid, capsules and lozenges. One of the most effective and absorbable zinc supplements is zinc chelate. Research indicates that zinc absorption can be improved if the supplement is taken as lozenge and dissolved in mouth. Zinc is generally not combined with iron supplements, which is usually given during pregnancy. Follow the dose prescribed by your doctor, as overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lower the level of HDL cholesterol and also lead to poor immune system function.

Doctors opine that acne and Rosacea are linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc Glucanote and Zinc oxide are the two widely used zinc supplements to treat acne. Zinc plays an important role in the growth of children. Adding zinc supplements to a growing child reduces the incidence and severity of childhood infections. Research also indicates that zinc supplement can reduce child mortality especially in the below poverty areas.

Natural zinc supplements

The foods we consume are the best sources of zinc. Foods that contain zinc include red meat, fish, oysters, whole cereals, cheese, nuts, chicken, beef, wheat germ, bran, eggs, bread, sugars and preserves, canned vegetables, green vegetables, potatoes, fresh fruits and pumpkin seeds.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 22, 2019