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Why do we need zink

Why do we need zink

Zinc is a trace element that can be found in almost every cell of the human body. Most zinc is accumulated in bones, muscles, connective tissues, and red and white blood cells.

Zinc is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions. Zinc levels below the norm can have a significant negative effect on overall health. Conversely, taking too much zinc can lead to equally serious health concerns.

The benefits of zinc

Zinc is crucial for numerous functions in your body, including:

Research: Zinc – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals

  • DNA and protein synthesis;
  • gene expression;
  • enzymatic reactions;
  • growth and development;
  • normal immune system function;
  • healing of wounds;
  • hair loss prevention;
Nata Gonchar

Holistic Nutritionist, founder
of the project WOW Bali

TOP-10 ingredients
for your health and
balanced meal plan
Nata Gonchar

Holistic Nutritionist, founder
of the project WOW Bali

As Hippocrates said, you are what you eat. The meaning of this phrase concerns every person, who takes care of his health. The food we eat has a big impact on our vital activity, state of health and quality of life.

Nowadays healthy diet is very popular and everyone knows that he should give up junk food. But not everyone knows what he must eat except for grain, vegetables and protein food.

It's essential to diversify your diet. Every bite of food should provide you with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are necessary for good health.

So how can we have a proper nutrition plan?

We prepared a PDF-file to help you. It contains TOP-10 ingredients, which should be added to everyone's diet.

  • processes regulating normal testicular and prostate function;
  • healthy aging processes;
  • prevention of cataracts and cancer;
  • neutralization of the side-effects of alcohol consumption;
  • absorption of vitamins A, C, and E.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Age RDA for infants
0–6 months 2 mg
7–12 months 3 mg
Age RDA for children
1–3 years old 3 mg
4–8 years old 5 mg
9–13 years old 8 mg
Age RDA for men
14–18 years old 11 mg
19 and older 11 mg
Age RDA for women
14–18 years old 9 mg
19 years old and older 8 mg
Age RDA for pregnant women
18 and older 11 mg
Age RDA for breastfeeding mothers
18 and older 12 mg

It is important not to exceed the recommended daily allowance. Prior to adding any supplementation to your diet, always consult your family doctor or nutritionist.

Top foods rich in zinc

  • Pumpkin seeds – 7.6 mg per 100 g.
  • Cashew nuts – 5.4 mg per 100 g.
  • Sunflower seeds – 5 mg per 100 g.
  • Pine nuts – 4.1 mg per 100 g.
  • Almonds – 3.4 mg per 100 g.
  • Pistachios – 2.2 mg per 100 g.
  • Beans (cooked) – 4.1 mg per 1 cup.
  • Lentils – 2.5 mg per 1 cup.
  • Tofu – 1.6-4 mg per 1 cup.

Top foods rich in zinc

  • Rye flour – 6.4 mg per 1 cup.
  • Wheat coarse flour – 3.6 mg per 1 cup.
  • Oatmeal (cooked) – 1.2 mg per 1 cup.
  • Rice (boiled) – 1.2 mg per 1 cup.
  • Cooked wholemeal pasta – 1.3 mg per 1 cup.
  • Ground beef (cooked) – 10.2 mg per 100 g.
  • Chicken liver (boiled) – 4 mg per 100 g.
  • Turkey liver (boiled) – 3.1 mg per 100 g.
  • Oysters – 74 mg per 100 g.
  • Roast beef – 7 mg per 100 g.
  • Alaskan (king) crab – 6.5 mg per 100 g.
  • Beef burger – 3 mg per 100 g.
  • Lobster – 3.4 mg per 100 g.
  • Pork chops – 2.9 mg per 100 g.
  • Yoghurt – 1.3 mg per pack.

Zink deficiency

Zinc deficiency can have a negative effect on the immune and nervous systems. It can also lead to infertility in both males and females, and complications during labor and delivery.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency

Severe cases of zinc deficiency are relatively rare. However, according to nutritional surveys, the average zinc intake in Western countries is around 47-67% of the recommended daily allowance.

The most common symptoms of zinc deficiency are:

  • Total or partial loss of taste and smell.

Research: Smell/Taste alteration in COVID-19 may reflect zinc deficiency

  • Chronic diarrhea.
  • Dry skin (dermatitis).
  • Memory problems.
  • Low sperm count and/or infertility.
  • Decreased testosterone production and/or erectile dysfunction (impotence).

Research: Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults

  • Fatigue and irritability.
  • Depression.
  • Reduced resistance to infectious diseases.
  • Slow healing of wounds.

Other symptoms indicative of zinc deficiency are poor night vision, delayed growth and development, testicular atrophy, mouth ulcers, and white plaque on the tongue.

Susceptibility to zinc deficiency

It is a well-known fact that the absorption of important minerals, including zinc, declines with age. As such, the older we get, the more care we should take to ensure that we maintain normal levels of zinc in our bodies.

In addition, a lack of foods containing zinc in the diet, and/or regular consumption of alcohol can also lead to chronically low levels of zinc.

Certain medical conditions and diets can also cause zinc deficiency:

  • Acute infectious diseases and/or inflammatory processes.
  • Cirrhosis and liver diseases.
  • Anorexia nervosa.
  • Burns.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Inadequate protein intake.
  • Vegetarian diets.

Research: Effect of vegetarian diets on zinc status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in humans

  • Fasting.
  • Coeliac disease.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Diarrhea.
  • The excess fiber in the diet.
  • Diets with a high calcium/zinc ratio.
  • Diets with a high iron/zinc ratio.
  • Pancreatic insufficiency.

Zinc toxicity

Zink toxicity is caused by excessive zinc intake. The symptoms include:

  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • stomach ache;
  • headaches.

Research: Zinc toxicity

Moreover, when in excess, zinc interferes with the absorption of other minerals, especially manganese, copper, and iron. High levels of zinc taken over long periods either through diets rich in zinc or through supplementation can cause anemia.

Why do we need zink

The tables below indicate the dosages at which zinc toxicity occurs:

Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in infants
0–6 months 4 mg
7–12 months 5 mg
Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in children
1–3 years old 7 mg
4–8 years old 12 mg
9–13 years old 23 mg
Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in men
14–18 years old 34 mg
19 and older 40 mg
Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in women
14–18 years old 34 mg
19 years old and older 40 mg
Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in pregnant women
18 and older 40 mg
Age Dosage associated with zinc toxicity in breastfeeding mothers
18 and older 40 mg

The take-home message

Zinc is an essential mineral and is crucial for the normal functioning of our bodies. A well-balanced diet rich in foods containing zinc is important to ensure adequate zinc levels in the blood and tissues. Zinc can be beneficial for a variety of health problems.

We recommend consulting a specialist who will test your zinc levels before prescribing the correct dosage because excessive zinc supplementation can be dangerous for your health.

The material is based on research: