It wasn’t until we started using a simple test on our family and friends did we realize how common zinc deficiency is and how crucial zinc is to overall health.

Adequate zinc levels are of critical importance in DNA synthesis, reproduction, vision, taste, and cognition.

How Can Low Zinc Levels Affect You?

Look at the number of conditions in your body linked to low zinc levels:

  • growth retardation

  • poor appetite

  • impaired immunity

  • inflammation

  • skin problems

  • delayed wound healing

  • inability to have children

  • mental slowness

  • depression

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • hair loss

  • damage to the linings of the gastrointestinal and pulmonary tracts, which contributes to allergies

Kick start your immune system with adequate zinc. The first cells which recognize and eliminate invading pathogens, cells of the innate immune system, need zinc to function properly. Without adequate zinc, the cells simply do not move quickly, are less powerful and eat less of the invaders. Too little or too much zinc inhibits an enzyme which is crucial to the process of destroying harmful invaders. Special types of immune cells from the thymus gland in the neck and the bone marrow are reduced in zinc deficiency. Zinc is essential as a helper to produce antioxidant and detoxifying molecules (including glutathione, superoxide dismutase, glutathione-S-transferase, and heme oxygenase).

A Number of Recent Studies Show How Zinc Throws A Power Punch

  • How would you like to shorten your cold by 3 days? Well, in one study, zinc acetate lozenges gave 2.94 days reduction in common cold duration. This is in comparison to the control groups with a 7 day average duration of colds in the three trials.

  • Adequate levels of zinc are important in preventing and treating acne.

  • Zinc levels are found to be low in some types of hair loss.

  • High school females low in zinc, and with scores high in anxiety and depression, supplemented with zinc and improved their mood scores.

  • Children with exacerbated asthma were either administered a placebo or elemental zinc. Within a 48 hour time period the zinc supplemented children were noted to have a “rapid lessening of severity” of asthma.

  • In double-blind, placebo-controlled trials daily zinc supplementation has been shown to prevent and treat diarrhea.

  • Zinc supplementation was shown to improve immunity in the intestines showing antimicrobial activity against a variety of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcal species and Escherichia coli as well as against viruses (HSV-1) and fungi, such as Candida albicans.

Foods Rich In Zinc

foods with zinc

The current Recommended Dietary Allowances for zinc given by the Institute of Medicine are 11mg/day for males and 8 mg/day for females. Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, lamb, chicken, lobster, kidney beans, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and kefir.

Our office offers a zinc screening service to check for zinc deficiency that is easy, fast and painless. Instruction is needed in the use of supplemental zinc to use it safely, effectively and to monitor its adequacy to avoid excess zinc in the body. As with any addition to the body, balance of zinc is of essence to maintain proper bodily functions.